ST. LOUIS - A trickle of basketball fans throughout the day turned into a torrent in the evening, as fans of Kansas' three big basketball powers all made their way here for the opening weekend of the NCAA tournament.
Wichita State, Kansas and Kansas State will all play their first two games at the Scottrade Center, St. Louis' 18,000-seat home for its hockey team, a relative walk down I-70, compared to other game sites in San Diego, San Antonio or Buffalo.
Here, Kansas supporters will meet an influx of basketball fans from another premier basketball state: Kentucky. Blue-blood program UK will play K-State on Friday and Kansas faces off against Eastern Kentucky. Only Louisville, the state's other top tier program, plays elsewhere.
Some fans, like Audrey Hamilton and her husband Phil, knew they would come to St. Louis the moment they saw their alma maters KSU and KU were both playing here.
"It’s amazing that all three of the Kansas schools are here in one place, and that was the reason that we came because it was just, you can say, how many times is that going to happen?" Phil Hamilton asked.
Mike Soria, a Wichita State fan who lives in Dallas now, bought his tickets even earlier.
"I got them over a month ago," he said. "I'm so confident in us being a one-seed."