Though Penn's fans were heavily outnumbered by Kansas' fans in Wichita, the Quaker faithful more than made themselves heard.
Before the Red and Blue tipped-off against the Jayhawks, reporters from The Daily Pennsylvanian talked to some of the first to arrive at the stadium to learn why they made the trip.
Jerri Brodeur, Jackson Brodeur, & Arthur Brodeur
Less than a week after watching their son AJ Brodeur win the Ivy League Championship at the Palestra, the Brodeur family didn't have to think twice about making the trip — even though they were coming from opposite sides of the country.
But according to AJ's father, Arthur, who made the trip from Los Angeles with his son Jackson, playing in March Madness is something AJ has been striving towards since middle school.
"Since seventh grade, this has been his dream," Arthur said. "And we all have great lives, but he gets to live the dream he’s had since seventh grade. That’s all you need to say."
Sheila Woods & Riley Woods
When Sheila Woods and her son Riley Woods, the family of junior guard Antonio Woods, first learned that Penn would be playing in Wichita, Sheila immediately began to look for flights.
But airplane tickets from their home in Cincinnati, Ohio cost upwards of a thousand dollars, so the Woods' weren't sure they would be able to make the trip. Sheila wasn't ready to give up, though.
"I said a prayer, I was like 'Lord, I have to get there, make a way.' I got to work on Tuesday and started looking, and Southwest pops up with awesome prices."
Even then, the Woods' still had to take two flights just to get to Kansas City, where they then drove the final three hours of the trip to Wichita. And now that she's here, Sheila is just happy to see her son living out his dream.
"It means the world to me," Sheila said. "That's something [Antonio]'s always dreamed about, just getting here first of all, being on this stage and being able to compete against some of the other best players in the country."
"I'm just happy he's happy," Antonio's brother Riley added.
Chad McKee & Diane McKee
Chad and Diane McKee have followed Penn from their home in Sioux Falls, South Dakota all season long, so when the couple learned the Quakers would be playing in March Madness just a few hours away, it wasn't very hard for them to decide to make the drive.
And while the McKee's were hopeful that Penn would be able to pull off the upset, they were mostly looking forward to watching the action happening off the court during time-outs.
"Our son is in the Penn band so we're excited most of all to watch the Penn band because he's a senior this year, and this is our first opportunity to see them in person," Chad said. "This is the closest they've performed in our area."
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