Big crowd, all students free for USF-W.Va.
USF's men's basketball team will have its biggest crowd of the season downtown Sunday when the Bulls play host to West Virginia in the St. Pete Times Forum.
Bill Wickett, the Times Forum's senior vice president for communications, said Wednesday that 7,000 tickets already had been distributed, surpassing the Bulls' season high of 6,027, set last week against Pittsburgh in the Sun Dome.
What's more, organizers hope for a strong walk-up crowd, thanks to a promotion that will allow all students -- college, high school and middle school -- free admission with a valid student ID.
The Bulls have topped the 7,000 mark only twice at the Sun Dome since joining the Big East in the 2005-06 season: last year's Notre Dame game drew 7,705 fans, and in March 2006, 9,636 saw the Bulls play Connecticut. While the game is being played off-campus, all USF season-ticket holders were given a ticket to Sunday's game, Wickett said.
The game's 2 p.m. tipoff will go up with the 3 p.m. kickoff for the Patriots-Chargers AFC Championship game, but USF fans are invited to stay after the Bulls game, with the NFL game's CBS broadcast to be shown on the Forum's "Lightning Vision" video boards and all arena TVs.