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Mar 15, 2014 12:25 AM by Nathan O'Neal

University businesses hope to capitalize on Cats' success

TUCSON - As the UA Wildcats sealed their appearance in the championship game at the PAC-12 tournament with their most recent win against Colorado, devoted fans watching the games at local restaurants are giving an energized boost to business.

For businesses along University Blvd., it's an especially big weekend for basketball fans.

"I came out here to watch the game with my son. He's a really big NCAA fan and UofA fan and I got my shirt, I'm all ready," said Karen Gould who is visiting from California.

Her son Nathan Gould, a recent graduate of the UA, said it's the environment of the University that draws him in to watch the games. He said he's hopeful for a long run in the NCAA tournament.

"I was actually hoping for a national championship -- I still think there's a shot but it's going to be a lot closer than we previously thought, so Bear Down and let's get it," he said.

Jonathan Graham is general manager of Frog & Firkin. His business is capitalizing off the Cats' success, the start of spring break for UA students and the St. Patty's celebrations this weekend.

"Everybody wants to come out and see the cats doing well. It's exciting for us. It's an exciting time for the restaurant but it's an exciting time for the university," Graham said., adding: "I'd like to see us get a number one seed and go far into the tournament -- the better the weather is, the farther we go, the better for business, so I'm all about it."

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