March Madness is energizing Columbia’s Vista
The jackets of pedestrians around town promote Duke or Virginia and the Ole Miss tour bus was rolling down Huger Street, Thursday afternoon. Restaurants are beginning to get crowded, and traffic is increasing. Hotel room prices for Friday night are doubled in some cases.
That is the scene in Columbia as the city readies itself for its first NCAA Basketball Tournament action since 1970, when the University of South Carolina was in the ACC.
In addition to free open practices being conducted at the Colonial Life Arena, Thursday, the Columbia Metropolitan Convention Center, next door to the CLA, held Segra FanFest. It’s open until 8 p.m. Thursday and Friday from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m.
Game Times Friday are:
Session 1 Game 1—12:40 p.m.: #8 Ole Miss vs #9 Oklahoma
Session 1 Game 2—30 minutes after Game 1: #1 Virginia vs #16 Gardener Webb
Session 2 Game 3—7:10 p.m.: #1 Duke vs #16 NC Central/North Dakota State
Session 2 Game 4—30 minutes after Game 3: #8 VCU vs #9 UCF