LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Outside the KFC Yum! Center ahead of the NCAA Sweet Sixteen games, it’s busier than normal.
The streets are full of fans from near and far.
“That’s why we got tickets to come down here because it was close,” Bill Emberton, a Purdue fan, said.
“If you follow college basketball you go where your team is playing,” Fred Hutton, a Virginia fan, said.
For fans closer to home, like Emberton, he isn’t focusing on the tension held between his team and the city they are playing in. Even though the Boilermakers’ football coach was almost poached by University of Louisville, Emberton is looking ahead.
“If Purdue plays like they did the other night, they are going to be hard to beat,” Emberton said.
Tennessee fans don’t agree.
“We can do this because our coach is great, he was just named Coach of the Year,” fan Frankie Wade said.
Wade bought tickets for Thursday and Saturday and is confident in the Vols.
“If you come for Thursday and stay until Saturday, you will spend Friday enjoying Louisville and it’s a great way to showcase our city to a lot of people who wouldn’t be able to otherwise,” Sandra Moran, the KFC Yum! Center Marketing Director, said.
Moran said hosting a NCAA tournament is a great honor that takes weeks of preparing and a year of planning. This is their fourth time hosting.
“Everything that has changed here is new to us and we are experiencing it -- like the Slugger Museum, that’s a great tour," Hutton said.
Restaurants, museums and distilleries all host basketball fans as they pass the time before the big event.
“The place is hopping, for sure,” Hutton said.