BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Buffalo is bracing for an orange crush. Syracuse is among the teams that will compete in the March Madness games in the Queen City.
The NCAA sent in a special floor for the tournament. It’s already been installed. As all the pieces come together, the excitement for game day grows.
“The arena has been hard at work really since the horn at last night’s Sabres game. So we’re doing great so far,” said tournament manager Ken Taylor.
T-minus three days until March Madness takes over Buffalo, but if we’re being honest, it already has. Organizers are quickly getting the First Niagara Center ready for thousands of fans and the men they’re coming to see.
“This is going to be for most of them, if not all of them, the biggest event they will ever compete in in their lives. So that’s the centerpiece of our goal is to make their experience positive,” said Taylor.
The last time the NCAA tournament made its way to the Queen City was 2010.
“Every time we bid, we tell them we’ll take whatever they’re willing to give us,” said Taylor.
This time it’s the 2nd and 3rd rounds. Eight teams will compete including Syracuse and Villanova.
“It wouldn’t matter who it is, but yes we are ecstatic. This is a great field and to have eight programs, most of them from the East or this kind of region, is fantastic,” said Taylor.
So is it a coincidence Western New York will be seeing teams from the region?
“They do take into account and try to help geographically speaking teams like Syracuse and Villanova that are some of the better teams that are kept closer to home. But we just find out who they are and then we welcome them with the red carpet,” said Taylor.
The red carpet and the entire arena will be ready when the tournament starts Thursday.
“I think we’re prepared and we’re ready. We only had 400 tickets left last night before selections were announced. In my mind we were ready for success no matter what team was sent here,” said Taylor.
Organizers say the main goal is to impress NCAA officials, so they’ll choose Buffalo for future March Madness tournaments.