Bride, groom turn out for Big 12 title game

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KANSAS CITY, MO. (AP) - Nothing was going to keep Eric and Faith DeVault from watching the Big 12 title game.

Not even their own wedding.

The young couple was married Saturday morning at their family’s house in the Kansas City suburb of Overland Park, Kan., and the rabid Kansas fans just happened to receive two tickets to see the seventh-ranked Jayhawks play No. 11 Kansas State from their groomsmen.

With the game scheduled to tip a few hours later, they hurried right over to the Sprint Center _ Eric still dressed in his black tuxedo with a Kansas tie and Faith still in her wedding dress, though she had wisely ditched her heels for a more comfortable pair of flats.

“I never dreamed of my wedding as a kid because I’m a guy,” Eric said shortly before the start of the game, “but if I did, this would be it.”

Eric grew up a Kansas fan and attended the school in nearby Lawrence, and said he converted his new wife, who grew up in San Diego and didn’t really have any loyalties.

“He says that the 2008 (national) championship was the best day of his life,” Faith said, before Eric chimed in: “Today is the second-best day. It might be the first if KU wins.”

They got their wish: The Jayhawks beat the Wildcats 70-54 for the tournament title.

The DeVaults spent most of the game on their feet cheering, blending into the crowd about as much as a bride and groom in wedding garb possibly could.

But they nevertheless stood out, getting photos taken with former Kansas star Sherron Collins and the Jayhawks’ mascot, Baby Jay.

They even showed up on the “Kiss Cam” during a timeout in the game.

The Big 12 sent a staff member up to their seats behind the Kansas bench to present them with a basketball, and Eric said he was hoping to snag an autograph on it from coach Bill Self.

“We had a poster that said, `I do,’ and it had a Jayhawk on it,” Eric said, “but the Sprint Center (security) took it away.”

The news of the couple’s exploits filtered its way down to a jubilant Kansas locker room after the game, where senior forward Kevin Young called their allegiance “awesome.”

“It means a lot being able to go out there and touch people’s lives in different ways,” he said. “There are not a lot of things in life that give you the opportunity to do that.

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