The madness starts for UB Hoops

Santora's will be packed; Campus Tees store seeing double merch sales

Mike Baggerman
March 22, 2019 - 3:00 am

Santora's Pizza Pub & Grill ahead of UB Bulls games in NCAA Tournament. March 21, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

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BUFFALO, N.Y. (WBEN) - All aboard the hype train! University at Buffalo Men's and Women's Basketball teams each kick off their action in the NCAA Tournament this weekend.

Santora's Pizza Pub & Grill among the many restaurants in the area expected to be packed for today's matchups. Owner Paul Santora among those ready for the big crowds.

"It's like a Super Bowl," Santora said. "It's a part of Buffalo and it's huge for us."

UB Bulls Merchandise at the Campus Tees store. March 21, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

Both games will be on the televisions at the restaurant, with Santora saying he has no problem with the games being on at the same time because it gives the women a bigger platform and audience at the restaurant.

"It's important for them," he said.

The restaurant will be full by 3:30 p.m. and Santora estimated people will begin showing up and claiming tables by 2:30 p.m.

Additionally, merch sales at the university's Campus Tees store in its student union have doubled over the last week according to General Manager Jennifer Rose.

"It's been insane," she said. "Sales are off the chart right now. I've got goosebumps right now. Everybody on campus is so excited. It's blue and white crazy."

She and supervisor Christine Leon are the only ones handling online merchandise orders and the two have been working early and staying late just to get shipments out all over the country.

UB Bulls Merchandise at the Campus Tees store. March 21, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

"They're from Massachusetts, New Jersey, Florida, and New York City and California," Leon said.

Some of the hot-sellers at the store include the new MAC Championship shirts that arrived this week as well as hats, pom-poms, foam fingers, dry-fit.

"If it's blue and white, they're buying it," Rose said.

Buffalo Mayor Byron Brown said he didn't fill out a bracket but he's picking UB "all the way".

"They're going to shock the world," Brown said.

Santora's Pizza Pub & Grill ahead of UB Bulls games in NCAA Tournament. March 21, 2019 (WBEN Photo/Mike Baggerman)

UB Men tip off against Arizona State at 4 p.m. Women start action against Rutgers at 4:30 p.m.

 

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