GLENDALE, Ariz. (KSAZ) - For some fans of North Carolina Tar Heels and Spokane, Washington's Gonzaga Bulldogs, the weekend events in Phoenix were just pre-game for probably the two team's most important game this season: the championship game.
An estimated 76,000 fans were expected to attend the championship, and before the all-important game, it was an afternoon of tailgating.
For Gonzaga fans, the moment is truly historical, as this is the first time their team has qualified for the championships. For the Tar Heels, this is their sixth time. Some Gonzaga fans made the 1,300+ mile drive down to the Valley to savor the moment.
"Drove all night to get here," said Beth Andrews, who is a Gonzaga alum. She said she has driven for 21 hours to get to the game.
"It's a bucket list," said Phil Oskilanec, who is a Tar Heels fan. "I'm glad I can check it off, and hopefully, I can win as the Tar Heels win tonight."
The festivities may be fun for fans, but Arizona State basketball coach Bobby Hurley said these times are nerve-wracking for the players.
"It's a long day, and you just want time to fly," said Hurley. "You got the anxiety, you know how much is on the line. You try to get yourself prepared, try to keep yourself calm, try and stay in your routine."