Droves of basketball fans flock to Sprint Center for up close look at Sweet Sixteen competitors

KANSAS CITY, Mo., -- Gabirel Frias and Xavier Delatorre were not about to miss the chance to see their favorite team, the Kansas Jayhawks, take the court on Wednesday.

"It’s pretty cool. You see the guys on TV and then you see them in person, you’re like ‘oh wow’ It’s crazy," Frias said.

They are among the hundreds of fans that went to the Sprint Center to attend a free, open practice for Kansas, Oregon, Purdue, and Michigan.

"I think they are going to be memories that you keep forever,' Kendall Hart, a graduate assistant coach for the Avila College basketball team, said.

Channon Washington and her crew traveled from Saline, Michigan to see their Wolverines in the Sweet 16.

"It’s an amazing experience. We pulled the kids out of school so they could be a part of this and it’s been a great season for Michigan, it’s a great story and we want to continue supporting them and being a part of it," she said.

Others showed up to scout the competition prior to Thursday's tipoff.

"I came to watch KU practice and other teams just to see how all the other teams are doing so I know when the game comes how they are going to play," Delatorre said.

But at the end of the day, fans were just happy to get a taste of what could happen in this week's games.

Do you think they can beat Kansas? Yes I really think! Why? Because they are the best team in the world," Caleb Washington, Channon's son and Michigan fan, said.

"It’s pretty intense. I’ve come here a few times for a game and it was intense. The crowd gets going and then once it gets rolling there is no stopping KU," Frias said.