The women's basketball team headed to Denver Thursday afternoon in preparation for its showdown against Connecticut in the Final Four.
The Irish left the South Bend Regional Airport with a larger than normal traveling party, which included the Irish pep band, school administrators and people like myself who are part of the extended entourage. For you HBO fans, I am presently, 'Turtle' to the women's team's 'Vince'.
Upon arrival to the Denver International Airport, we were whisked away in three separate buses - the team bus, the band bus and the Magic School Bus (family bus).
If you've ever been to DIA, you are aware of the lack of elevation change in an area that is known for the Rocky Mountains; which led a sage thinker to repeatedly say, "I expected the Rocky Mountains to be a little rockier than this." I have prepared myself to hear the utterances of those words at least another 1,842 times during this trip.
Having graduated last May from a public university in the state of Indiana (the one with five men's basketball championships), my body is used to being filled with a combination of grease and Top Ramen. Needless to say, when I heard we would be eating at Elway's, a nationally-renowned steakhouse in the heart of downtown Denver, myself and every other member of the traveling party were salivating at the food we were about to devour.
Other than being thoroughly disappointed that the '5,280 Peanut Butter Cups' was the name of the dessert and not the quantity we would be receiving and the fact that there was no 'Tebow'n' steak on the menu, the spread surpassed the high expectations that were set prior to the meal.
After dinner, we set off for the hotel and were greeted by a collection of adoring fans (of the team, not myself), the University of Denver pep band and the step team from Truth University (one of these things actually didn't happen, I'll let you deduct which one).
The Denver Final Four committee presented head coach Muffet McGraw and the team with a ball with the Final Four logo emblazoned on it and welcomed the entire traveling party to the 'Centennial State' in the lobby of the team hotel.
As the team settled in for the night in preparation for the long week ahead, they most certainly had visions of their season-long moniker, "For Love and Glory," bouncing around in their heads.
Keep up-to-date with your women's basketball team as its looks to bring home a second NCAA Championship - and first since 2001 - by checking back with us at Irish UNDerground for daily recaps and following the minute-by-minute happenings via Twitter (@NotreDameWBB).
- Aaron Horvath