A majority of those in the capacity crowd at the Al McGuire Center didn't know the words to Marquette's fight song, "Ring out Ahoya," but it was understandable; only a small minority of fans had ever heard the song before.
It was all part of MPS Day, which allowed students from around Milwaukee to enjoy a day of basketball and provided the second-ever sellout at the Al McGuire Center.
More than 3,000 students from 29 different Milwaukee Public Schools participated in the event, which featured a noon tip-off against Oregon.
Each school was assigned a Marquette player to cheer for. The students made signs for that player and the schools will receive autographed posters from their respective players in the coming days.
Players loved the atmosphere. More than a half-hour before the game began; the students were already stomping on the floor and making substantial noise as the teams prepared for the game.
"We noticed it," said Marquette senior guard Krystal Ellis, who led the Golden Eagles with 17 points. "We could hear them hitting the stairs and being loud. It was exciting."
There was an educational purpose to the day, too. Students received an "Eagles Edge Workbook" that featured geography, math, health, nutrition and logic puzzles. The puzzles were simple, getting kids to add up halftime scores, use adjectives to describe players' favorite foods and also exposed them to a well-regarded hometown university.
The kids were treated to a great game; Marquette went on a 16-0 run early in the second half before pulling away for a 69-39 victory over the Ducks. In addition to Ellis' 17 points, Paige Fiedorowicz had a big game, finishing with 12 points and 12 rebounds.
The Golden Eagles are 8-3 this season and host UW-Green Bay Saturday at the McGuire Center.