It's been great here in Philly. Relatively cheap flight and hotel, and the public transportation's reliable enough to get around. I didn't end up with particularly great photos, but here are the best of the bunch anyways:
I got a ticket off stubhub for the first session. Now, to me, there's just something a little wrong with paying more in fees for a ticket than the ticket itself ($20 in fees, $10 for the ticket. Better than $70 face value). The Wachovia Center's pretty nice, I'm pretty sure there are very few bad seats in the house. The opening session was fun, if uneventful, the highlight in my opinion Chattanooga staying close for about 5 minutes.
Now for the second session. American brought a pretty impressive set of fans, perhaps 3 sections worth. They were the ones most hampered by a short rotation, with their two main guards tiring out at the end, and their 3s finally not falling. Villanova ran the full court press after a made basket pretty much the entire game, and American seemed to use 4 men to bring the ball up the court much of the time. They also trapped at halfcourt, but American's guards seemed able to break it easily. However, their limited height seemed to prevent them from finding the open man in the corner. For Villanova on offense, the key for us will probably focus on containing #33, Cunningham. I get the feeling we'll be doubling down on him often, and the key will be his ability to pass out of them.
The fans were interesting, because they didn't seem particularly loud for most of the game. The only time they really seemed to get into it was during their final run to take the lead. And as for their fans making a difference in our game, they didn't seem to make much noise. I get the feeling they were too concerned about their own team to care about us. As for VCU, they seemed to have about 4-5 sections worth of fans, compared to our (loud) one section. The only other thing of note is that they miked the bands. However, Gordon didn't seem to like it, so we played away from it at times. At least, that is what I think happened.
As for our game, I'm just glad we won. I'm not even going to attempt to read the game thread, but I'm pretty sure it contains most of the things we were yelling all game. I think many of our missed layups were due to the fact that our arms were being slapped as we went up for them. Actually, I don't think I have much more to say about it, I was running so high on emotion. At least, not without being prompted. If anyone would like to ask any questions, I can do my best to answer them.
My favorite quote of the evening, overheard from a VCU fan on the way out: "Well, we almost won, playing 8 on 5".
It'll be a tough game tomorrow. I'm looking forward to it. Better pictures tomorrow.