Basketball fans in blue to descend on KC

KU, UNC to play NCAA tourney games here

There will be hordes of basketball fans downtown in blue next weekend. That much is certain. But much of it will be an unfamiliar Tarheel shade.

The perennial powerhouse University of North Carolina headlines the list of out-of-town teams coming to the Sprint Center for next weekend's second and third rounds of the NCAA tournament.

If both teams win as expected on Friday, UNC, led by former KU coach Roy Williams, could face off on with the Jayhawks on Sunday.

"If a Jayhawk fan is not excited about that prospect, they should move to another state or stop watching basketball because this is about as exciting as it ever can get," said Hal Wagner, a ticket broker who said his phone hadn't stopped ringing Sunday night -- ever since the brackets were announced.

"Never, Ever, Ever! Did I ever anticipate North Carolina and Roy Williams," Wagner said.

Local business owners like Nick McMillian of Johnny's Tavern agreed, saying teams like UNC and Wisconsin, with great, traveling fan bases are better for business than even local favorites like the University of Missouri, which plays Colorado State in Lexington, Ky.

Out-of-town fans looking to attend the tournament had better act fast. Hotel rooms are booking up quickly. The downtown Marriott is already sold out for the entire weekend.

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