Pep rally to send VCU to Houston Wednesday

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The RamNation will gather Wednesday, this time to see the team off to Houston for a Final Four showdown Saturday with Butler University.

The Siegel Center is the place to be Wednesday. Fans are asked to gather around 2:15 p.m. in the UU Lot to send the team off right. They will leave around 2:45 p.m. for Houston and the biggest game of their careers and VCU school history.

Screaming VCU fans that now want autographs takes a little getting used to.

"I don't know if people they just didn't think that we were going to make it this far. It's just so surprising they want pictures, they want autographs, they want everything," said player Jaime Skeen.

"I went to class today but I was late because I had to stop and take so many pictures. I guess I can't say no to anybody," said point guard Joey Rodriguez.

VCU basketball coach Shaka Smart is taking it in stride and with tremendous pride for VCU.

"It's really galvanized thousands of people behind the black and gold and now people are going nuts. Everybody's trying to get to Houston and by memorabilia and t-shirts.  I just think it's a phenomenal thing for VCU," Smart said.

Richmond's Mayor Dwight Jones, says what's happened this week is better than any marketing campaign he could pay for. "People are really finding out about Richmond, what we are already. that it's a great place to live. About our history and our culture and the wonderful people that are here and this great university and these wonderful young men that are taking us to the final four."

The mayor says he's been fielding calls from around the nation. He's even placing a wager with the Mayor of Indianapolis that VCU will win Saturday. He'll be at the game to see it through.

"I think the Mayor of hoopstown oughta be where the hoops are being played. I'll be in Houston and looking for the Mayor of Indianapolis," Jones said.

The city is already planning a big event, possibly a parade in April to celebrate the team's run. No matter what happens this weekend. If you want to wish the team well tomorrow as they leave for Houston be at the Siegel Center at 2:15 p.m. Wednesday.

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