HOUSTON TX (WWBT) - The fans that made the trip to Houston were so invested in this team on a personal and physical level. Many spent hundreds of dollars and countless hours to get here. Despite the outcome, not one of them would have done things differently.
As the final buzzer sounded, and this team- who at one point had unending energy, slowly walked off the court, hundreds of die- hard VCU fans were right there to support them. Like they had from day one.
"They are amazing, they mean everything to our school," said Lorena Salom, a graduate student from VCU "We are so proud of them. We are very happy."
Even though they said they were happy, it was clear this loss hit many hard. Fans that screamed for all 40 minutes of the semi-final game, were left with solemn faces and heavy hearts.
"It hurts, but we still made it here, we still get a big banner at Seigel in our home gym," said Daniel Nassif.
Focusing on what it meant to get to this big stage was something that most of these fans will look back on when this experience is over. An experience they all give this scrappy team credit for.
"We are still pumped up, this is our team, we still got swag, and you know what? When come home in Richmond they are still our boys and we still love them, we all did good," said Bryan Protill, A VCU Freshman.
And the impact it has in exposure for the school and the state is something the "fan-in-chief" Governor Bob McDonnell said you can't put a price tag on.
"Athletes can be great ambassadors for your university and that is what these outstanding young men have done for the school," McDonnell said.
An impact that has already been felt, but something all of Virginia will benefit from for years to come.
The team will return via their charter flight at 1:30pm on Sunday.