New normal at SLU: students line up before sunrise for hoop tickets

ST. LOUIS - The 25-2 Saint Louis University Billikens are reaching heights the Jesuit school hasn't seen since President Lyndon B. Johnson occupied the Oval Office.

At No. 8 in the USA Today Coaches Poll, you'd have to go back to the 1964-65 season to find a ranking in this rare altitude of college basketball elites. The Bills were ranked #9 that year.

With new levels of accomplishment and notoriety, some other notable "firsts" are popping up on SLU's campus in Midtown .

For at least the third or fourth time this season, SLU students got out of bed before sunrise to line up for tickets--in the cold--outside Chaifetz Arena.

"I'm a big fan of our team, and I'm from Wisconsin so we're pretty hardcore up there," explained Megan Menzel, a senior at SLU, wearing her knit Packers hat. "We camp out for those Packers tickets. So I'm doing the same thing here and showing support to my university."

Menzel arrived at Chaifetz Arena Tuesday at 5 a.m. to be first in line for the 1,000 tickets set aside for students. The box office opened at 7:30 a.m. It's first come, first serve. Earlier this month, Menzel claims she arrived as early as 3:50 a.m.

The Billiken faithful aren't quite to the Cheesehead-level when it comes to fan devotion, but they're getting there.

Earlier this month, the SLU student tickets were gobbled up in 90 minutes.

No word yet if a new record was set on Tuesday morning outside Chaifetz Arena.

The Billikens are on a 19-game winning streak and host Duquesne Thursday night at 7 p.m. Tickets are tough to come by. The game will be shown on the NBC Sports Network.

She is from Wisconsin, but even Menzel admitted to wearing three layers for Tuesday's ticket camp out.

"It's just a really exciting opportunity for everybody at SLU," Menzel said.


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