The team left Birmingham at 3:45 p.m. today for a pleasant and fairly quick bus ride to Auburn, led by James, the team's favorite driver this season. The Samford contingent enjoyed dinner together, but the most important activity of the evening -- at least, apparently, as far as the team was concerned -- was the Marble Slab Creamery across the street from the restaurant.
Samford is headquartered at the Hampton Inn and Suites in Opelika, about 15 minutes from the arena. The teams are assigned hotels based on seeding, which is why we're further away from the campus. The hotel and local host committee had a huge banner in the lobby welcoming Samford.
The team doesn't have to be at the arena until 11 a.m. tomorrow, so the coaching staff encouraged them to relax in their rooms, sleep late and have a leisurely, late breakfast before getting down to the serious business of the weekend.
The last huddle of the evening ended with the "word of the night" -- one that definitely defines this team this year, how far they have come, what they have achieved, and what they are for 2011.