Fans follow ND women to New Orleans for the Final Four - Fox 28: South Bend, Elkhart IN News, Weather, Sports

Fans follow ND women to New Orleans for the Final Four


The Notre Dame women are the Big Easy preparing for their third consecutive Final Four appearance.

While the team is focused, Saturday was about connecting with fans. 

Tourney Town is all about fun for everyone, with free concerts and interactive games.

Inside the New Orleans Arena, hundreds of fans lined the concourse in hopes of getting an autograph from their favorite player.

Unfortunately, some fans had to be turned away because the team could not accommodate everyone, but they certainly did their best to make everyone happy.

At the practice, fans got to watch as the Irish did a final run through. 

Plenty of Irish faithful have made the trip from South Bend, but Paul Duttlinger made it an international journey, coming all the way from Indonesia to watch his favorite team.

"The Irish are just so much fun to watch, they play for the team, they play for the school," says Duttlinger.

Duttlinger says he has gone to all of the tournament games and in 25 years of rooting for the Irish, he has watched them play in 21 states.

He is just one of thousands of fans from all over the country here in New Orleans, but two of Skylar Diggins's best friends made the trip from South Bend to surprise her.

Former team mates, Emily Phillips and Ashley Varner won a state championship with Skylar at Washington High School.

The two have continued to support her throughout her career. 

They were in Indianapolis in 2011 and Denver last year.

They say there was no way they would miss Skylar's last chance at a National Title.

"It is a humbling experience to be able to be in the stands to watch Skylar, because watching her on tv just isn't good enough!  She says she loves when Skylar looks up at her in the crowd and she can give her a look back in support," says Skylar's friend and former teammate Emily Phillips.

Friend and former teammate, Ashley Varner says the experience makes her feel like she's playing with Skylar again.

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