By Matthew Crawford and Chris Fujimoto
6:45 – Matt here: The team is out on the court practicing, looking quite loose and pumped up for the game. Not all are in full uniform. During the pre-game warmups, the players, namely Reynolds were pumping themselves up by letting lose numerous screams. After shooting around and stretching on one end of the court while American was taking up the other half, American departed and Dante and Corey Stokes, along with Sutton, Tchuisi and Colenda took over the other end of the court to work on their shooting – with of course Dante and Stokes taking most of the shots.
6:47 – The team has left the court. The Wachovia Center looks amazing for this event. Blue carpeting and table covers decorate the media sections, which are immediately adjacent to the court. The media buffet was free and had amazing food. We were all the way up in the balcony of the Wachovia which provided spectacular views of the court from high up and really displayed the dark blue NCAA color scheme
6:56-Matt went to the bathroom. It sounds like there are more AU fans here than Villanova fans. In general, the Wachovia center seems pretty empty. I’m hoping that the place fills up soon, and the hometown crowd gets behind the ‘Cats. In general the atmosphere here is electric and I’m excited to have to register for classes in an hour and a half.
7:06 – I’m back, I’m back. A little too much explicit detail from Chris there. Anyway, the Villanova band is miked up and just performed the national anthem rather well. Thank God the band is miked up; at Madison Square Garden for the BET, the bands were completely innefective – at the Wachovia Center the bands have been allowed to completely take over the PA system. Of course, American’s band is miked up too, and are now playing Sean Kingston’s Beautiful Girl. It has been a virtual war of the bands for the past hour. Pretty soon though, it will be a war of the basketball squads.
7:10 – Villanova has just re-entered the court in full uniform. Although the American fan section has been on their feet for a good half hour and have completely filled their section, once Villanova fans realized their team had come out on the court, Villanova cheers took over. That being said, the American University fan section is still extremely, extremely loud and well co-ordinated with their eagle mascot, band and chearleaders.
7:15 – Standing on opposite ends of the court for the National Anthem, it was quite obvious that Villanova is much taller and physically tougher and more athletic than the Eagles. That being said, the scouting report states that their strength is shooting, which is not always evident in body size and toughness. The key to Villanova’s game tonight will be tough defense on the perimeter.