SAN DIEGO (KGTV) - College basketball fans are thrilled to see March Madness tip off Friday night at the iconic Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.
San Diego State, a sixth seed, is slated against 11th seed Syracuse University at 6:40 p.m.
"We're back baby, we're back!!" said alumnus Jim Kalb. He's been an SDSU fan for about 40 years and held season tickets just as long.
It's the first year he's been watching from home instead of court-side.
"We lost a couple of home games this year which really weren't home games because I guarantee you we would've won at least two of those games had we been there cheering on our team," said Kalb.
A team Kalb knows well; he spoke on who graduated SDSU and went to which NBA teams, who are excellent leaders, and how the team changed over the years under two coaches.
When asked if he knows the team like the back of his hand, he replied with a chuckle, "even better."
This year, San Diego State is off to a promising start as the sixth seed after the pandemic derailed the nearly undefeated team last year.
"We can't control if we win or not but I know we'll give it all our best effort and if we win we'll celebrate together, if we lose we'll commiserate together," Kalb said.
He will be watching the game Friday with a tight-knit group of friends, with whom he has been going to games for decades. All of them are vaccinated.
"We've lost so much of our community as we've created these little islands, you know we're social human beings ... Watching the game by myself is not nearly as fun as watching it with 12,414 fans at Viejas," Kalb said.
He hopes we are turning the page and March Madness will be the beginning of a return to normalcy.
If the Aztecs win on Friday, they will play again Sunday.