East Stroudsburg, Monroe County – A little March Madness is coming to Monroe County for the first time this weekend. The NCAA Division II Basketball Championships will be held in the Poconos. East Stroudsburg University is hosting the Atlantic Region.
Nearby business owners hope the tournament will give them a nice bounce. Audrey Snape owns Royal Caribbean Bakery and Restaurant around the corner from the school. She beamed, "Well, it's exciting and I'm so happy for the school." She expects she will be packed with people attending the tournament. "I'll just have to prepare. I'll have to prepare for all of them,” she said.
Other restaurants on Crystal Street like a pizzeria, sub shop, and the Dansbury Diner are also preparing. "I'm really pumped about it. Hopefully the Warriors win,” said diner owner Chris Ruocco.
No matter who wins the games, Ruocco expects to win some customers. He’s offering 10% off to anyone attending the tournament. "Just welcoming everybody in, anybody from ESU, anywhere,” he said.
Pocono Mountain Visitors Bureau Director Carl Wilgus said this is a great time for a tournament. He explained, "We're very pleased by that. It will be a relatively slow weekend normally and now it will be a very robust one here for the Stroudsburg area. "
The tournament starts Saturday and wraps up Tuesday. The winner advances to the finals in Indiana.