Fans Visit Reno For March Madness - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Fans Visit Reno For March Madness

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The NCAA Tournament is bringing fans to Reno from all over the country.

And that's good news for local hotels and casinos.

The big dance is already living up to it's billing at the Silver Legacy Race and Sportsbook, with hundreds of fans gathered at tables and in their bleachers.

"This is the best four days ever, every single year," John Pinto, Silver Legacy Race and Sportsbook Manager said. "Super Bowl is great but these four days. The food is set up, you can watch every game, first game is a buzzer beater. How do you not enjoy this weekend?"

Pinto says the crowd grows throughout the day, with some people staying here from 8 in the morning to 10 at night.

"Oh, man, it's a blast," Andre Abara, Houston, Texas resident said. "Every year, I come here. I've been coming for five years, now. So, good time. I get to spend some time with my brother. He lives in California. So, we meet here, every year."

Abara joins hundreds of others that came to town because of the tournament.

Many of them are lining up to place their bets, while others are tearing up their ruined parlay cards and hoping their brackets stay alive.

"My bracket usually makes it at least until the PM, Thursday," Dan Schneider, Sacramento resident said. "Usually by the PM, Thursday, I'm tearing that up."

Former Nevada basketball standout, Ethan O'Bryant, and 17-year NBA veteran, Olden Polynice held a free throw contest against each other.

Anyone sitting in the winner's section got three free drinks.

In the end, the hometown player came out on top.

"This was good because I got to beat Olden," O'Bryant said. "So, I've got bragging rights forever."

Polynice had a chance to win in the "Best of Three" contest, but shot the ball backwards, over his head.

"I tried to get tricky with it," Polynice said. "Shoot backwards when I had a chance to win and that's a lesson in life. When you have a chance to knock somebody out, knock them out."

And as we know, this week is filled with upsets.

"This David beat that big Goliath," O'Bryant said. "But it was a lot easier for me. It was easy work."

"No, that was more like a 16-1 upset," Polynice laughed. "That was a big upset."

These former players say this is the best time of the year, much like the fans.

Many of them will be here through the weekend.

Written by Paul Nelson
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