May 22, 2024

OC Sports Zone: Community First

Loyal UCI fan predicts the Anteaters will upset Kansas State in NCAA tourney opener

Holly Ackman-Riggs and Don Riggs will be cheering on the Anteaters (Photo: Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone).

UC Irvine basketball fans are getting excited about the team’s opening game in the NCAA Tournament Friday in San Jose against Kansas State in the South Regional.

Among the Orange County fans cheering for the squad will be Holly Ackman-Riggs and Don Riggs, who have been following the Anteaters all season.

“We’ve been involved with UCI for a long time… but our commitment to the men’s and women’s basketball program has become an important part of our sports following for the past nine years,” Holly Ackman said.

“In fact, during that time I have stood to applaud every field goal made by UCI players.  It’s my way of acknowledging the culmination of a well executed strategy. I see many similarities between my role of leading a team in corporate America (vice president of Sales for an insurance company) and the commitment players have to implementing on their coach’s plan.

“We were with the team for UCI’s last trip to the NCAA’s and we’ll be there Friday to see them beat Kansas State.”

It will be UCI’s second trip to the NCAA Tournament. Tip-off between No. 13 UCI and No. 4 Kansas State is 11 a.m. and the game will be shown live on TBS.

Students and other supporters sent the team off before Wednesday morning in front of the Bren Events Center.

For more on the Anteaters, the Big West Conference regular season and Big West Tournament champions, please click here.

-Tim Burt, OC Sports Zone; timburt@ocsportszone.com