Basketball fans flock to local bars for NCAA tournament - KCTV5

Basketball fans flock to local bars for NCAA tournament

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The big three teams in Kansas basketball packed in a lot of action Friday afternoon. The big three teams in Kansas basketball packed in a lot of action Friday afternoon.
OVERLAND PARK, KS (KCTV) -

The big three teams in Kansas basketball packed in a lot of action Friday afternoon.

Two of the three will advance to the next round, with only Kansas State losing its game. But this early in the tournament, fans say sometimes it is OK to root across state lines.

"Are you kidding me?" one Jayhawk fan yelled, while watching the game in Johnny's Tavern in Overland Park on Friday afternoon.

That was a hot question as No. 2 seed KU teetered dangerously close to falling to No. 15 Eastern Kentucky.

"You can't really sit down when you're anxious," said KU Fan Kyle Berthusen. "I have body movement I have to let go, so I can't sit down. It's dangerous."

From fans who couldn't sit, to others trading seats, everyone was hoping for a change in fortunes.

"If you're losing at halftime, then we'll switch seats at halftime," said Jayhawk fan Will Kerdolff.

The will to win came through, even picking up an extra boost from a few K-State pops of purple, among the KU blue.

"I don't want to say root, but I would rather see a Kansas team win," said K-State fan Patrick Cassidy, dragged out to cheer with his Jayhawk girlfriend Melissa Friedman.

Friedman said dealing with a divided house has actually trained them to handle other relationship pitfalls.

"I think we definitely pick our battles from that," said Friedman. "Can't fight over everything."

As KU finally pulled away and sealed the deal, beating Eastern Kentucky 80-69, fans making the rounds in Kansas could roll right into another tip-off. Wichita State had an easier path to its win Friday.

"I really believe this team, as they showed last year, they don't let down against anybody or be intimidated," said Wichita State fan Mark Grogan.

The Shockers rocked Cal Poly, 64-37, keeping their perfect record intact, and boosting the buzz that's even increased the school's enrollment over the past year.

"So many more people in Wichita State T-shirts," said WSU fan Brooke Amos. "When I'm wearing a Wichita State T-shirt people come up and say 'Go Shocks, we're cheering for them, we want them to win it all.' You wouldn't have seen that two years ago."

For any fans still standing, K-State came last on the docket, and with the toughest match-up of the day, Wildcat fans were looking for recruits of their own to cheer every Kansas team to the next round.

"We always say TSC, so team, state, conference and that is always the way it works," said Cassidy.

Fellow K-State fan Natalie Johnstone added, "I think that's only fair. If I can root for them, they can root for us."

Despite the cross-team help, K-State couldn't quite pull it out, dropping to Kentucky 56-49.

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