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SU fans from the Mohawk Valley make their way to NYC for Big East Tournament

By PAT BAILEY

NEW YORK CITY (WKTV) - This time of year is a like a holiday for college basketball fans as March Madness officially gets underway.

In New York City, the Big East Tournament is in full swing and Syracuse University basketball fans have already made their way to the Big Apple for the games

Every year during the first week in March, the Big Apple turns into the Big Orange as thousands of Syracuse fans flock to the world's most famous arena, and unofficial home away from home for Syracuse basketball - Madison Square Garden.

This year, the Syracuse Orange won't play until Thursday, but that didn't stop fans from the Mohawk Valley making their way there a few days ahead of time.

Two years ago, the Big East expanded the yearly tournament to inviting all 16 teams. That means one extra day of basketball for the most die hard of fans.

That group includes Syracuse fans, who already have made their presence felt, in New York City. That is because of the 15 other teams in the Big East that help make up a conference said to the best in the country with the best end of the year tournament.

"The Big East Tournament is almost as good as the bog dance, it is huge," said Jeff Barrett, an SU fan who made the trip from West Winfield. "We love it down here."

"We have seen a ton of Syracuse fans, I'm not going to lie," said Brittany Beane of New Hartford, who also made the trip. "Probably like five or six just walking in, we slapped five with them, we were excited. We were - like this is great, Syracuse pride. Especially since we were with Villanova fans, and UCONN fans."

Every year, Syracuse fans fill Madison Square Garden and are the loudest among any Big East School.

Syracuse will play St. John's University Thursday at 2pm. St. John's uses MSG as it's home court for most of the year.

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