Marshall community gathers to send Marshall off to NCAA tournament

The Marshall men's basketball team loaded up the buses Wednesday and are officially on their way to the NCAA Tournament for the first time in 31 years. (WCHS/WVAH)

Members of the Marshall men's basketball team loaded up the buses Wednesday and are officially on their way to the NCAA tournament for the first time in 31 years.

Herd fans have waited a long time for this and those who couldn't make the long trip cross country still wanted to send their love with the team.

Marshall basketball fans haven't gotten to do this in a long, long time, sending their team to the NCAA tournament with hugs, kisses, and a lot of luck.

"Since a lot of us can't go to California, we at least wanted to come out and let them know we love them and support them,” Marshall fan Carla Adkins said.

The players loaded up for the trip, ready to place Marshall into the national spotlight.

Junior guard and Charleston native Jon Elmore said the team is looking for a deep run.

"We're fulfilling most of our dreams as a kid," Elmore said. "I know it was my dream, so we're happy to be living it. We're not done yet,” Elmore said.

An entire generation of Herd fans grew up without an intimate connection to the big dance.

Marshall Head Coach Dan D'Antoni said this can bring young fans in nationally.

"I hope they have a good time. That's what it's all about. I'm going to have a good time. I hope they have a good time,” D'Antoni said.

Herd players rolled out of Huntington to their flight out of Tri-State Airport, headed for San Diego and their first-round matchup against Wichita State, a city's love traveling with them.

Marshall arrived in San Diego Wednesday evening. The Herd will take on the Shockers 1:30 p.m. Friday, Eastern Standard Time.

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