Pittsburgh ND fans excited to watch Irish in their hometown

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - Notre Dame fans have taken over the Steel City. Fighting Irish basketball fans are gearing up for Notre Dame's big game against Northeastern to open March Madness in Pittsburgh.

Several Irish fans skipped work and several student groups took field trips to the Consul Energy Center to watch Notre Dame practice Wednesday.

Joe Bartunek has been a Notre Dame 'superfan' for 50 years, and Wednesday was his first shot to watch Notre Dame's men's basketball team shoot hoops in Pittsburgh.

“I love it, and they're doing a good job. They're practicing harder than the other teams were. But believe me, I just love them,” says Bartunek.

He is just one of several Pittsburgh natives who is excited that March Madness found its way to their hometown.

“Love having them here, especially with it being a big game. I'm really looking forward to tomorrow,” says fan Justin Turner.

Turner says he's leaving work early to make it to the game against Northeastern on Thursday.

“Last year was a little rough, but it's been an amazing season. I'm trying to take it all in. As I tell everybody, one of the lessons I learned from the 2012 football season is to just enjoy the ride.”

The Fighting Irish will take on the Northeastern Huskies Thursday at 12:15.
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