Thousands of college basketball fans in Greenville for March Madness

GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – The March Madness mania has officially taken over the Upstate. Thousands of fans are filling the arena, and downtown Greenville to watch the games.

The tournament is known for crazy games and dedicated fans.

“I bought tickets probably six months ago. I’m on an e-mail list where they send it every year, and say ‘hey do you want to buy tickets’ and I pretty much solicit every year and say I want to buy the tickets,” says UNC fan Carter Garbutt.

For the first time in 15 years, those fans are back in Greenville cheering on their teams.

“When I saw South Carolina was going to be in Greenville, I was so excited,” says South Carolina fan Lauren Laubach. “We had already been planning to come here, but I didn’t expect to see my team there.”

“We held out to get tickets to make sure the Tar Heels were going to be the number one seed and making sure they were going to come here,” says Greenville resident Rick Bryson. “When when we found out they were going to be here along with Duke, our big rival, it was great. we grabbed tickets.”

For some fans, it was their first time coming to the upstate.

“Greenville is a really fun town,” says Laubach. “There’s a lot of fans here from all over which is really cool.”

But even for residents and returning visitors, they say the energy in the city is tough to beat this weekend.

“I think they did a great job with the organization,” says Garbutt. “It’s easy to get around, all the restaurants and bars have stuff going on associated with the tournament, so I think they did a really good job planning for it.”

Representatives with the city of Greenville say they’ve already placed bids to host the tournament in 2019 all the way to 2022.

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