Kansans are extra excited about March Madness this year with all three schools sending teams to the NCAA Tournament. The WSU Women are about to make their first ever trip to the NCAA Tournament, joining the Shocker Men, along with the Jayhawks and the Wildcats. And that many Kansans dancing the big dance is good news for local retailers.
"It's awesome. It just says a lot for our state and our sports in Kansas," said Shocker and Wildcat fan Darrin Cox. "I think sometimes we're overlooked."
Kansas sports fans like Cox and his family are in basketball heaven. They're proud of all three of their state's teams, even the one they don't usually like.
"And we will root for KU. It's a pretty tough pill to swallow, but we will do it," laughs Cox.
They're ready to spend some money to show their pride, too.
"It's March Madness," said Tad Snarenberger, owner of Tad's Locker Room. "We're lucky cause all three teams are in, Wichita State, K-State, KU."
"We are definitely getting ready for the tornado that will come from the tournaments," said Christy Lowery, who works across town at the Sports Time Fan Shop.
From Tad's Locker Room on the eastside to the Sports Time Fan Shop on the west, stores are stocking up and selling out of Jayhawk, Wildcat and Shockers gear.
"Fans have been asking for it a lot," said Snarenberger. "Our Facebook page has been lit up, a lot of people on Twitter have been talking about it. There's just a lot of excitement going on. Especially with Wichita State. They want to see us go a little farther than we did last year, so anticipation is high."
"Even people that aren't normally basketball fans, you know?" said Lowery. "You get WSU in the tournament and all of a sudden they're basketball fans."
One trip wasn't enough for Jayhawk fan Sharon Larsen. She had to come back for more over her lunch hour.
"I was here Friday picking up my Number Nine shirt for myself," said Larsen. "Then, when they won over the weekend, thought I'd better come back and get the real deal."
Several stores told eyewitness news while they have plenty of WSU, K-State and Kansas gear in general, they're still waiting on deliveries of tournament specific items. They hope to have those in Tuesday or Wednesday at the latest.
Some fans have said they hope the teams from Kansas hang in there long enough to face each other. And to help out many are planning to travel with the teams.
"At this point in time we're not sure how we're going to get there, but we're going to get there." said Diane Fletcher, a Shocker fan.
She's among many who plan to support their team through March Madness, no matter the cost. And that cost could be high.
As soon as they knew their team was in Shockers fans started making plans.
"The problem is, we all didn't know where we would be going until just last night," said Fletcher.
But she's determined to go to Salt Lake City, Utah, somehow.
"We need to be there to support our team," she said.
If you're a die hard Shocker fan and want to follow your team to Salt Lake City this week it is going to cost you time or money, maybe both.