Monday, March 14, 2011
Basketball fever is everywhere. Trash cans in downtown Wichita's Old Town now have backboards so you call call a bank shot when you throw away trash.
Store windows are full of March Madness with NCAA displays and ads selling tickets to the NCAA Women's Regional first and second round games at Intrust Bank Arena.
"We've had a lot of events in the past year. But this one is so much bigger than a normal concert , or any other show because it's all about the community," Intrust Bank Arena General manager A.J. Boleski said.
Arena workers are transitioning from an ice rink to a basketball court this week. Players from four teams will be practicing for games on Sunday and Tuesday in Wichita.
Big Ten champions Michigan State (26-5) , will play the Missouri Valley Conference's Northern Iowa (27-5) on Sunday. Green Bay (32-1) will take on Arkansas-Little Rock (23-7). The winner of Sunday's games will play on Tuesday night for the right to move on to the regional semifinals in Dallas.
Local businesses are also welcoming the madness, and are counting on hundreds of basketball fans to visit and spend money.
"Hopefully a lot of newcomers will be coming in and especially for this store. We tend to get a lot of people staying for an hour or two," Alex Johnson of Lucinda's , located at 329 North Mead in Old Town, said.