AUSTIN (KXAN) - The NCAA tournament kicks into full gear on Thursday, with 32 teams hitting the hardwood.
Even though games don't tipoff until Friday at the Erwin Center, basketball fans were able to see the eight teams who made the trip from across the country on Thursday.
Colorado, Florida, Illinois, Miami, Minnesota Northwestern State, Pacific and UCLA make up the eight teams playing in Austin over the next three days.
Getting into the games
All-session tickets are priced at $180 and $225.
Single session tickets are also available from $60-$85
Tickets can be purchased online or by
calling (800) 982-2386
Each team held a 40 minute practice session that was free and open to the public.
Miami, a No. 2 seed in the South Region, rolls into Austin fresh off an ACC championship, and is projected by many to make a deep run in the tournament.
"It's a great feeling knowing that some experts are picking us," Miami guard Shane Larkin said. "We've just got to go out there and get it done. We have all the capabilities, great defense, great players and a great coach, so there's a lot of reasons people should believe in us."
Miami's head coach, Jim Larranaga is in his second year at Miami. He led underdog George Mason to the Final Four in 2006.
"Sometimes you think you're dreaming, and you try to pinch yourself," Hurricanes forward Kenny Kadji said of being a high seed in the tournament. "We want to make a big run and have a great tournament."
Miami (27-6), will square off against No. 15 Pacific (22-12) in the first game of the day. Tipoff is set for 1:10 p.m. Pacific was an automatic qualifier after winning the Big West tournament.
Northwestern State is the closest team to Austin and their squad is hoping to pull off an upset during their time in the tournament.
"We're more of an underdog against a team like Florida," Northwestern State forward James Hulbin said. "We know that coming in here...we want to make a little noise and do what we do, play our style of game and hopefully they'll kind of gravitate towards us."
No. 14 Northwestern State (23-8) will take on No. 3 Florida (26-7), the regular season SEC champion, Friday at 6:27 p.m. The Demons reached the NCAA tournament after winning the Southland tournament title.
An armed robbery in South Austin set off a search for two men with guns early Friday morning.
A local road project more than two decades in the making won't save drivers as much time as many had hoped.
The University of Texas Board of Regents adjourned Thursday without taking action on the job status of embattled UT President Bill Powers.
Longhorns coach Mack Brown talked with reporters Thursday for the first time since reports surfaced this week that he could be stepping down.
Two men were arrested and a third was being sought by police for the shooting death of 47-year-old Russell Martens.
Parking arrangements are a bit different this year at Austin's Trail of Lights, but there are options to suit just about anybody.