PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – The North Carolina Tar Heels were the last team to punch their ticket to the Final Four over the weekend, and they did so by beating the Notre Dame Fighting Irish in Philadelphia at the Wells Fargo Center.
With all the fans coming to the city for both the Sweet 16 and Elite 8, officials expected an $18-million economic impact from the East Regionals.
One face we’ve seen before — the Notre Dame Leprechaun — was in town when the Fighting Irish football team played the Temple Owls in October, and he returned with more time he says to explore the city:
“I did all the tourist things, I got to see the Liberty Bell, Independence Hall, all that. Just got to enjoy a few days here.”
UNC fan Bruce Baughman was in Philadelphia to see his team play on both Friday and Sunday and had a similar weekend agenda.
“I’m thrilled to be here,” he says, “just kind of experiencing everything…Xfinity Live, a lot of fun, Independence Hall area, Liberty Bell, so it’s been quite a weekend.”
Notre Dame band member Jackie Collins also did some sightseeing, including a visit to the Art Museum steps, or the “Rocky steps” as she knew them by.
“I tried (to run up) and then I got half way there and then I was like ‘yep, I don’t know that I can run all the way up,’ so I think I walked the rest of the way,” she tells KYW Newsradio.
She says her visit exceeded her expectations of Philly.
“I definitely thought that it was going to be totally historical and not so modern, but I was pleasantly surprised to find there was tons of stuff to do in addition to all the historical sites.”
UNC band member Alex Craft was on his first ever visit to Philadelphia, and says things here are very different from what he’s used to:
“Chapel Hill’s a little smaller. There’s less people, it’s a quieter town, just being in a big city there was a lot more noise in Philly, but it’s a welcome difference.”
Many visitors also say they noticed the enthusiasm the city has been showing for the Villanova Wildcats, who will join the Tar Heels in the Final Four this Saturday.