March Madness at the Chase Center: Fervor over Sweet 16 games

Fans excited for NCAA March Madness Sweet 16 matches at the Chase Center in San Francisco.

San Francisco is in the grips of March Madness as Gonzaga faces Arkansas, and Duke will play Texas Tech in the NCAA Men's Basketball Sweet 16.

Ahead of the Gonzaga-Arkansas game, fans who couldn't make it inside, arrived at the Thrive City plaza in front of Chase Center. The atmosphere is electric as NCAA action returns to San Francisco for the first time in 83 years

Chase Center, home of the Warriors, is hosting college hoop's biggest show. It's also the first time Chase Center will host NCAA action.

Among the fans who flooded into the area hours before tip off were some college buddies rejoining to root on the number one ranked ‘Zags’. "We went to Gonzaga, a year or two ago," said Gonzaga Fan Dana Hackett.

"We're all college girls. Yeah, so we have Seattle, Portland and I'm East Bay and Livermore," said Becky Morrisroe.

"I jumped on a plane this morning, left my job, took a call and I'm here," said Jennifer  Deger.

But Arkansas is looking to play the spoiler. A father-son Razorback duo traveling from either end of the country is hoping for an upset. 

"I'm pulling for the Razorbacks. I live in Arkansas. My son was raised in Arkansas, now he's living in Idaho and he said, 'Hey if they win, I'll drive down from Idaho, if you meet me in San Francisco we'll have a good time,' and that's what we're doing," said Arkansas Fan Steve Sullins.

Duke fans say after beating Gonzaga earlier this year, they're hoping for a Duke-Gonzaga rematch in the Elite Eight. "Oh definitely, and then he's going to the Final Four in New Orleans and we want to see Duke there too," said Linda Stricker.

"Of course I'm hoping Duke will be there. My daughter is joining me, she's a huge Duke fan as well. Have another daughter in Wisconsin that's a huge Duke fan," said Charles Stricker.

Texas Tech fans Gabe Pelphrey and his mom, Karen, traveled from Texas and don't plan on going home until after the Red Raiders are headed to the Final Four. "I love Texas Tech! I kind of get out of control. Sometimes I have to leave and calm down and then go back to my seat," said Karen Pelphrey.

SEE ALSO: March Madness returns to San Francisco for 1st time in 83 years

The winners of these games will face off on Saturday in the Elite Eight. If you didn't score a seat, Chase Center is still inviting hoops fans to come on down for Fan Fest, they're showing the games on the big boards.

One final note, KTVU did talk with San Francisco police. They say they have additional patrols out and about in the area to make sure that everyone has a fun, and safe time.