March Madness is here and it involves more than the big NCAA tournament.
UMKC will be playing in the postseason for the first time and fans are getting excited.
“That's a big accomplishment,” UMKC student, Hajar Banyalmarjeh said.
The Roos will be playing in the first round of the College Basketball Invitational against Green Bay Phoenix.
“I'm hoping that we come out and do really well,” UMKC student, Alicia Harrington said. “We have a lot of seniors so I think it's awesome that they get another chance to play.”
Lemont Garrison Paschal says he supports the team 100 percent.
“I'm a senior and been with them the whole four years, so let's get through this,” Paschal said.
At Charlie Hustle, UMKC is a household name.
“We're really excited, UMKC is right down the street from us so it's definitely our Kansas City basketball team,” Charlie Hustle General Manager, Emma Louis said. “We have our shirts here and we did the jerseys for Kansas City day and we saw a really positive experience come out of that, so we're really excited.”
“They're our neighbors, so they're kind of like our neighborhood team,” Louis said.
J.T. Batey, a Charlie Hustle employee and UMKC student, says he’s excited for Wednesday’s game.
“I'm good buddies with a lot of guys on the team and hopefully we can pack out Swinney," Batey said.
While Power 5 Conference teams surround Kansas City, Batey says UMKC in the CBI tournament is putting the Roos on the map.
“Obviously a lot of schools pay attention to the big schools, and the big 12, and these other power five conferences, but it's really cool that we're getting some recognition,” Batey said. “UMKC is that Division I team now that we can rally behind and go and support and now we're getting some recognition playing in those bigger tournaments.”
The UMKC Roos host Green Bay Phoenix at 7:05 p.m. at the Swinney Rec Center.
For ticket information, click here.
Rae Daniel can be reached at Rae.Daniel@KSHB.com.