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NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament tips off in Buffalo

UCONN fans
Thomas O'Neil-White
University of Connecticut fans arrive at Key Bank Arena for the start of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

Let the madness begin — March Madness, that is — as fans from across the country and across the border descend upon Key Bank Center in downtown Buffalo for six NCAA Men’s Basketball games over a two-day period.

And yes, our across-the-border friends are here to take in the games. Randall and his family came from Ontario.

“So yeah, we're from Toronto, Canada, and college basketball is not so big, but my kids are here,” he said. “My dad is back in Toronto, but him and I love college basketball. When I was a teenager, I loved the Hoosiers, Indiana. Bobby Knight was the best coach ever.”

Randall’s son Rueben said he was here for only one thing.

“Just some good basketball,” he said.

University of Vermont fans
Thomas O'Neil-White
University of Vermont fans arrive at Key Bank Center for the start of the NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament

With schools from as far away as South Dakota participating, the majority of the fans entering KeyBank Center sported shirts and hats from northeastern schools like Vermont, Connecticut and Providence. Outside of watching his Friars win Providence, fan Danny and his friends were looking for some Buffalo favorites.

“Oh, anywhere that has a lot of beer and a lot of good wings, that's really it,” he said.

You’re going to love it in Buffalo, Danny.

Born in Louisville, Kentucky, Thomas moved to Western New York at the age of 14. A graduate of Buffalo State College, he majored in Communications Studies and was part of the sports staff for WBNY. When not following his beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats and Boston Red Sox, Thomas enjoys coaching youth basketball, reading Tolkien novels and seeing live music.