March Madness takes over Bricktown

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OKLAHOMA CITY -- College basketball fans from across the country are in Bricktown this weekend, taking in the first two rounds of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament.

Chesapeake Arena is hosting the games Friday and Sunday for the first time since 2010. It also hosted the tournament in 2005 and 2003.

"It’s been a little overwhelming, I can tell you that," said Melissa Tourmel, who works in retail at Brickopolis. "There’s just so many people, and you have to keep track and be friendly with everyone and make sure they’re comfortable here in Oklahoma."

Some bars and restaurants are advertising themselves as "fan friendly" during the tournament, offering discounts and specials to fans in from out-of-town.

"Everyone’s just so friendly," said Kaitlyn Cody, who is visiting from Pennsylvania to watch her father's alumnus, Virginia Commonwealth University. "All the fans you know if you see another team you kind of acknowledge each other a little bit."

Fans showed their pride Saturday, wearing their school colors for all to see. The bands from VCU and Northern Iowa University teamed up for a free, pre-game pep rally.

"We’re rooting for them. Hopefully, they’re rooting for us," said Aaron Bottoms, after playing the trumpet beneath a Bricktown bridge. "I love the city. It’s just a really good space."

Two games are scheduled for Sunday. OU plays VCU at 4:15 p.m. Northern Iowa and Texas A&M play immediately after.

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