Basketball Fans Prepare for March Madness

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COLUMBIA - Basketball fans said Sunday they were confident the Missouri Tigers would reach the late stages of this year's NCAA tournament.While many residents have not begun to make plans for the upcoming games, several Tiger fans have.

Columbia resident Zac LaHue said he believed MU has "a good chance of winning the whole thing." He said he keeps track of the tournament but doesn't actively watch the games until the final rounds. When that happens, he said he typically goes to a bar or a friends house to watch the game.

LaHue's cousin Jon Schieszer-Strange said he normally goes to Las Vegas during March Madness, although this year he will follow the tournament from Chicago. He said he felt MU could go all the way through the tournament, adding the lack of hype around the Tigers makes this a good year to do so.

St. Louis resident Pat Dressel said he thought MU could reach the Final Four. He said he plans to take Thursday and Friday off work to watch the opening rounds in the tournament.

"It's too difficult to work and watch a game at the same time," he said.

Dressel said he and his friends typically start getting together to watch the games once the tournament hits the Elite Eight.

According to the NCAA's March Madness website, MU has been seeded 2nd in the West Region. The Tigers will play their first tournament game against Norfolk State University at 3:40 p.m. Friday in Omaha.