Friends Reunite Yearly for March Madness - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe News Weather, Video -

Friends Reunite Yearly for March Madness

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The sportsbook at the Grand Sierra Resort is just one place that is crowded with basketball fans.

Some placing bets -- and others just hoping for some close games -- and a few upsets.

"It's hard to predict. Some of these weaker teams are playing for whatever and they'll beat a top seed with no problem, sometimes," says Gary Bruni of San Jose, California.

These guys take an March Madness trip here -- every year. Some of them have been coming here since the 70s.

"We just love it. There's about 12-15 guys that come up. All different walks of life. And we just have the greatest time, and Reno treats us very well," says Jim Taylor of Saratoga, California.

This tradition started with a group of Santa Clara college friends that made the trip over here for the tournament. Mainly because TV coverage wasn't what it is today.

"When you're addicted to this stuff and you want to play all 64 games, you gotta come here so you can see them all," says George Korte of Orinda, California.

What started as a group of about six -- has grown to more than 20 over the years. And they know how to have a good time while they're here.

"Dennis, here's your beer.... "

"Oh, thanks. How do you beat this? You bet a game, you've got a lovely young lady bringing you beers. You can't beat it," says Dennis Camarlinghi of Auburn, California.

Some of these guys have been coming here for 40 years but during that time, a lot of them have moved around the country. So, this is the one time of the year when they all get together.

"You just come up here for the friendly camaraderie, a lot of food, a lot of drink, goofing around, making fun of people, but having a good old time with it," says Bruni.

Some of them make this an extended vacation - golfing early in the week and watching the games all weekend. And after the last game, Sunday, their annual trip will come to an end.

"Everybody exits out the door. 'See ya.' There's hugs, kisses, crying. 'We'll see you next year,'" says Camarlinghi.

Written by Paul Nelson

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