Liberty Flames Pep Rally for Basketball Teams
Lynchburg, VA - The streets in downtown Lynchburg ran red and white Friday. The Lynchburg Chamber of Commerce along with the city hosted a pep rally for the Liberty Flames basketball teams.
Both the men and women are headed to the NCAA tournament.
The mayor and vice mayor declared Friday Liberty University's Men and Women's Basketball Teams Appreciation Day.
There's no denying Flames fans are fired up for the big game.
"It's really neat, just the appreciation and knowing the city has your back and sees what you've done and your accomplishments," said Tolu Omotola, a player on the woman's team.
Especially for the men's team after a rough start to the year.
"I'd say this is just a blessing, something you just can't explain," said John Caleb Sanders, a player.
This is the first time since 2004 that both men and women's teams will compete in the NCAA championship.
"Hopefully this is just the beginning of a tradition," said Carey Green, Lady Flames head coach.
"It's a day they'll never forget and these are memories that you can't manufacture," said Dale Layer, Liberty Flames head coach.
As the excitement to game day builds, the anxiety of who they're going to play is still on players' minds.
"I wish we could be playing Texas because that's where I'm from and a lot of the girls on the team are from," said Omotola.
"Duke is notoriously one of the best basketball programs in America and so that would be really cool to match up with them and I would love it," said Sanders.
But wherever they play, the folks back home will be cheering them on.
"I'm excited beyond words this is just an amazing experience for us," said Omotola.
The men will learn where they fall in the brackets this Sunday at 6 p.m. on CBS. The women will find out their destination and opponent Monday on ESPN at 7 p.m.