NEW ORLEANS - The University of New Orleans men's basketball team is going to the big dance, playing in the NCAA tournament for the first time since 1996!
The Privateers left the Lakefront Arena around 9:30 AM Monday. We got some video as they loaded up on the bus, heading to the airport, and let's just say the boys were amped, screaming "Shock the nation!" for the TV cameras! And that's what the team is hoping to do.
They play at 5:40 p.m. Tuesday against 16th seeded Mount Saint Marys from Maryland in the first-four play-in game.
The winner of that game advances and will play defending champion, No. 1 seeded Villanova on Thursday.
We're expecting big performances from the team's seniors. Forward Eric Thomas was named Southland Conference's Player of the Year, and two Lousiana natives, Christavious Gill and Nate Frye, are also big performers. We caught up with Nate and Head Coach Mark Slessinger before they headed out.
"It's hard to describe. I've never experienced anything like this before. It does seem magical, kind of dreamy. I just have so many emotions me and my teammates we've never experienced anything like this before," said Frye.
"It's a great day for the university. It's a great day for the city. All of our alumni students, faculty and staff. To be 21 years away from the NCAA tournament is a log run and and we're happy to be back on the map and on the national scene," said Slessinger.
You can watch the game on Trutv on cable.