ST LOUIS - Both states have unimpeachable basketball pedigrees. Their namesake colleges have Hall of Fame coaches and their fans settle for nothing less than championships.
In St. Louis, the states Kansas and Kentucky are battling for basketball supremacy.
On Friday afternoon, Kansas won round one, dispatching the No. 15 seed, the Eastern Kentucky Colonels.
EKU fans like JD Bussell, who made the six-hour drive Friday, were confident before the game.
"I think we have a good shot. I think a 15 seed will move on today," Bussell said.
Friday night’s matchup between Kansas State and Kentucky will be the main event in this state showdown, at least for now.
The Kansas State Wildcats have never beaten their eponymous rivals in blue, coached by hall-of-famer John Calipari.
Kentucky fans are famously good travelers and some in St. Louis expected them to outnumber KSU fans.
If Kentucky defeats KSU, Sunday's game between them and (most likely) the top-seeded Shockers of Wichita State would become the rubber match. Best of three games between the two states, wins.
Before the Kansas game, Governor Sam Brownback gave 41 Action News his prediction for St. Louis' big winner.
"WSU's got such a story. I mean 34-0, a perfect season...and it’s one of the best teams," Brownback said. "There's individual talent that’s a lot better on some of these other teams but as a team, I don't think anybody plays better team basketball than they do."
By 2 p.m., Brownback said he had already changed shirts twice-- intent on showing his support for all the Kansas teams.