LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WLFI) - Purdue and Tennessee fans have begun arriving in Louisville for Thursday's Sweet 16 match up. However, none have a better attachment to the game than the Smith's. They’re celebrating a 'Sweet 27' on the 'Sweet 16.'
Pam Smith is a Purdue graduate.
"Considering any other university really wasn't an option in our family," said Pam Smith.
Her husband Jeff is a Volunteer.
"I grew up about 90 miles northeast of Knoxville," said Jeff Smith. "Everybody was into Tennessee football on Saturdays."
After graduation, they met in Baton Rouge, Louisiana
"We were married on March 28, 1992," Pam Smith explained.
March 28, 2018 is going to be a little bit different however. On their 27th wedding anniversary, their teams are playing each other.
"No romantic dinners," the Smith's joked.
Pam's Boilers and Jim's Vols are in the Sweet Sixteen, but these two won't be watching next to each other Thursday.
"Separate rooms," said Pam Smith. "Same house, separate rooms. It's best that way."
The couple has two children. Their daughter Ashlyn followed her mom to Purdue. Their son Jarrett plays division three football at Johns Hopkins. His tweet about his parents' story has more than 34,000 likes.
Mom: Purdue University ‘87
Dad: University of Tennessee ‘87
Thursday, March 28th:
1) Tennessee vs. Purdue
2) My parents’ 27th Wedding Anniversary
Thoughts and Prayers are greatly appreciated #ThisIsMarch
— Jarrett Smith (@J_Smitty_13) March 24, 2019
Now, the Smith's live just outside Houston. It's the next hometown over from where Carsen Edwards grew up.
"We've seen him play, I think our son played sports against him," said Pam. "We don't know him personally, but we've been playing in the same league since Carsen was in first grade. I kept on telling all my friends up north, 'you're really going to like this guy! He's awesome!'"
So whether it's Carsen and the Boilers or Grant Williams and the Vols, this family is just ready to come together and cheer for one team.
"Whoever wins on Thursday night has to win on Saturday!"
"No romantic dinners this time!"
Pam Smith is a @LifeAtPurdue alum. Her husband Jeff is a @UTKnoxville grad. Tomorrow, on game day, they're celebrating their 27th anniversary. They tell me they will be watching @BoilerBall vs. @Vol_Hoops in separate rooms. @WLFI
— Trevor Peters (@TrevorPetersTV) March 28, 2019