BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — It truly is March Madness. A lot of fans are already mourning their busted brackets but still enjoying the comradery the NCAA Tournament brings.
“I can show up to a random place and hang out with guys I’ve never met, and we’re just watching basketball and having a good time,” said Craig Joseph, a West Virginia fan from Florida.
Whether making the trip solo, coming to town last minute or using the games as a reason to see old friends, fans from across the country are getting a taste of what Birmingham has to offer.
“It’s been beautiful,” said Travontez Thorington, an employee at Paramount Bar. “Kind of hectic but beautiful. I love this for the city. It’s something that I feel like we should do every year. They love the people here, and there’s some of them thinking about moving here.”
Paramount said it saw big crowds all throughout the day Thursday as people milled in and out to enjoy watching the tournament.
”I’m probably the only one with Maryland winning the bracket here,” said Andrew, a Terrapins fan. “But it was worth the trip to come down here, visit a friend, check this place out and awesome city.”
Some might be rooting for upsets in these first-round games. But for others, early upsets have busted their brackets.
“We’re ready to make history,” said Beth, a Northern Kentucky University fan. “We’re going to beat the number one seed [Thursday night].”
“I just saw that Princeton won, so I’m busted,” said Mike, a fellow NKU fan from Cincinnati.
Some fans love seeing Cinderella runs during the tournament.
“That means they’re hungry and they came to play and that’s the part about March Madness that makes it great,” said one Ohio State fan and Alabama native. “I don’t think anybody in the world is going to have a perfect [bracket].”
No matter how these games are ending, it’s still all smiles and laughs as fans are excited to see how the tournament unfolds.