Fans Flock to Downtown Wichita for NCAA Tournament Practices

Ted Woodward
March 14, 2018 - 2:48 pm


Thousands of basketall fans and curiosity-seekers flocked to downtown Wichita's Intrust Bank Arena Wednesday morning and afternoon for an open practice session of eight men's teams playing Thursday in the NCAA Tournament. The practice sessions were free and open to the public.

Attendance was announced at 13,695; those numbers were bolstered by thousands of Kansas fans watching the #1-seed Jayhawks practice at 12:30 p.m., and thousands of school kids who were bussed in to attend the event.

Fans were already lined up outside the area before the doors opened at 10:00 a.m.; the first team to practice was #16-seed Pennsylvania; the Quakers will play Kansas in a First Round game at 1:00 p.m. on Thursday. Live coverage of all KU games may be heard on Sports Radio KFH 1240AM 98.7FM, as well as radio coverage of NCAA Tournament games.

Kansas fans are excited: it's been 26 years since the Jayhawks played a game in Wichita, and 37 years since KU played an NCAA Tournament game in Wichita.

This is the first time in 24 years Wichita has hosted the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament, and the first time its ever been held at the downtown arena; the last time Wichita hosted, in 1994, the games were played at the Kansas Coliseum.

All eight teams were given 40 minutes of official practice time on the court to get used to the floor and the environs; the other teams in Wichita include Seton Hall, North Carolina State, San Diego State, Houston, Michigan, and Montana.


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