A&M Officials Expect Big Crowds for NCAA Championship Women's Basketball

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COLLEGE STATION, Texas March Madness has swooped in, and Texas A&M University is hosting the women's first and second round NCAA games at Reed Arena for the third year in a row.

Sales for the games were huge the first two years.

Out of 16 cities, College Station placed second in ticket sales on opening day for 2012, and third in 2013. Around 7,200 tickets were sold on opening day in 2013, and A&M officials said it's looking about the same for this year.

Steve Miller with Texas A&M Athletics, and color commentator for the Lady Aggies Basketball said the event is big news, and means big business for the area.

"It's a really big deal. When you can bring in a championship that's televised by ESPN," said Miller. "These are teams that are going to stay in hotel rooms, they'll bring fans, eat at restaurants."

While women's basketball may not draw the same big crowds as their male counter parts, Miller said that can work to a fan's advantage.

"You watch the men's championship on television. Here's your chance to experience it on the women's side. Very economical," said Miller.

Students are normally required to pay for their tickets during the first and second round NCAA tournament, but thanks to donations to Gary's Group, Miller said there are about 5,000 free tickets available to Texas A&M students.

The first round kicks off at Reed Arena on Sunday afternoon at 4:30 when Gonzaga faces off against James Madison.

The Lady Aggies face off against North Dakota Sunday night at 7.