Fans prepare for March Madness in downtown Wichita
WICHITA, Kan. (KSNW) – As March Madness continues, Wichita is finally getting its turn to host some games downtown. Locals can’t wait to welcome visitors to the capital from the air, and they’re excited for another weekend full of basketball.
“I think the mood right now is one of excitement, anticipation, and I feel like people are ready to come out a little more and support our local regions and be part of the team. “Wichitan Gail Bauer said.
Gail and her friends have tickets to see the women perform at the INTRUST Bank Arena. They are thrilled to have the tournament back in town.
“Number one, I want to support this because I want more tournaments to come back to Wichita. We went to the NCAA when they were here a few years ago and had a blast, and I think that’s just a very good atmosphere, and I also want to support women’s sports, ”continued Gail.
Marlene Schmitz is a big fan of her team, the Louisville Cardinals.
“We’ve been to Final Fours. We’ve been to the ACC women’s tournament, but I’ve never been to a regional, and it’s so exciting. It’s good,” Marlene said.
Marlene drove from Kentucky on Friday morning — 11 a.m. on the road — just to get to the Cardinal welcome party at River City Brewery.
“Kind of like a pre-game pep rally,” Marlene continued.
Dozens of Marlene’s former classmates are in Wichita for the tournament. Something Gail is happy to see.
“Wichita has a lot to offer people to understand that our museums are exciting. We have a lot of things on the river that are exciting. They just need to experience it more,” added Gail.
As for Marlene, she is eager to explore.
“Well, I love this little neighborhood called Old Town. Oh my god. .
This is their first time in the tournament for the University of South Dakota (USD) Coyotes, and they are thrilled to have made it this far in the tournament.
“A fair bit of the underdog team and the Cinderella, and just a lot of kids from small communities. South Dakota, Minnesota and they’re just good kids and hard workers and they’ll play a good brand of basketball they really play team basketball their defense is amazing so they’re playing really fun style and it’s fun to be behind too,” said Wichita visitor Katie Bourk.
“USD Coyotes!” Phew! Phew! Woot,” cheered a young Coyote fan.
In addition to cheering on their favorite team, many families hope the tournament will recruit new women’s basketball fans.
“I think it’s a good kind of contagious thing to see and maybe a little girl somewhere picks it up,” said Becky Lamb, the South Dakota player’s mother.
Game 1 between Tennessee and Louisville is announced at 3 p.m., but the fun starts at noon for some March Madness fans at Naftzger Park at Fan Fest.