Illini Fever Sweeping Rockford Stores

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The three words "it's tournament time" couldn't be sweeter for Rockford area sporting good stores, especially with the in-state fighting Illini working towards another three words, "2005 national champions."

At the GOT Quarters store in Cherryvale Mall, managers ordered new bulks of Illinois apparel in time for the NCAA tournament that tips off Thursday.

Orange Illini t-shirts and sweatshirts so far have been the biggest seller, but other items like clocks, mugs and stickers are also seeing increased sales.

The Illinois excitement is uniting fans and store owners alike.

"I'm a fan of Illinois basketball team and I think they've got a super team, and I think they'll be going all the way," fan Tracy Watkins said.

"It's been a lot of fun to see so many people and have so much demand and people are so excited. We're happy to have all the merchandise flying off the shelves," Mary Parsons added.