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Ducks fans say Final Four gear at Duck Store is historic

Ducks fans filled the Duck Store before the Final Four game Saturday. They were shopping for gear to mark the historical game. (SBG photo)

EUGENE, Ore. – The Ducks tip off their Final Four match up against University of North Carolina Saturday evening and fans have been rushing to the Duck Store to purchase new gear.

Friday, the store was buzzing with excited customers. A manager said the store traffic the past week is a sign the fans are looking forward to the big game.

“It hasn’t been slow to say the least,” said Conrad Hulen, campus manager for the Duck Store.

The last time the Ducks made it to the Final four was in 1939. The Duck Store first opened in 1920.

“It’s actually kind of surreal. The last time we made it this far in the tournament there wasn't a Final Four as we know it,” Hulen said.

It’s a landmark day in Oregon sports. Fans want a piece of history, so they’re snatching up the green and yellow gear.

“Favorites have to be the locker room tees as well as the hats,” Hulen said.

As cool as some of the items are, one die-hard Ducks fan won’t buy any until after the tournament.

“Can’t wear it during the game – don’t want to mess anything up. Been wearing the same shirt the whole tournament,” said Alex Stern, a junior at the University of Oregon.

Stern said he’s superstitious to say the least.

“It’s hard to not buy it, but it’s just, I know I want to wear it during the game and then if we lost during the game, I would just have bad associations and I just couldn't do that,” he said.

On the other side of the store, another Ducks fan said Final Four clothing could be worth a pretty penny in the future.

“I’m going to hang onto that t-shirt ‘cause that’s history right there,” said Nancy Bruce-Ceccanese, a fan in the store. “This is the first time since 1939 when most of us were born so that’s awesome.”

She said even if they do lose, the season is something to hang their hats on.

Others are optimistic for a Ducks national championship.

“If we were going to lose, we were going to do it already. It’s, it’s, we are going all the way, like no doubt, it's the year. It’s time,” Stern said.

The University of Oregon is also preparing for a watch party for the game Saturday at the EMU on campus at 5 p.m. Organizers say anyone is welcome to watch the game, not just students.

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