The University of Miami men's basketball team began its journey to Austin, Texas, where the Hurricanes face Pacific in the second round of the NCAA tournament.
The Atlantic Coast Conference regular season and tournament-winning Hurricanes left from the BankUnited Center Wednesday afternoon.
"For everybody to be gathered as one like this -- we got our cheerleaders out, dancers, fans, family, and friends -- it's great," said guard Durand Scott.
"A lot of people are picking us to go to the Final Four so we really want to go out there and prove we're a good team and win it all," said guard Shane Larkin.
The Hurricanes defeated the North Carolina Tar Heels 87-77 in the Atlantic Coast Conference championship game Sunday. Hundreds of fans greeted the team as they arrived back in Coral Gables.
The players said they're looking to head coach Jim Larranaga who coached George Mason to the Final Four.
"He's been to a Final Four. He tells us all about his experiences all the time, but at the same time, we all want to go to a place where we've never been before -- a national championship game," said forward Julian Gamble.
"Actually, it's one more game and it's one at a time for the remainder of this season," said Larranaga.
Miami's opening game in the NCAA tournament is scheduled for 2:10 p.m. Friday.
UM Austin Alumni Club hosting pregame gathering
The University of Miami's Austin Alumni Club will host a pregame gathering at 11 a.m. CT Friday at BlackFinn Ameripub, located at 11410 Century Oaks Terrace.
Food and drink specials will be available before and during the game.