Two days in advance of its NCAA Tournament showdown against Kansas, Penn men's basketball is all business as it hopes to pull off the upset of the century.

Credit: Chase Sutton

Penn men’s basketball is officially on its way to March Madness.

On Tuesday afternoon, dozens of Penn students and employees gathered outside the Palestra to send Penn men’s basketball off to the site of its first round NCAA Tournament game against Kansas on Thursday: Wichita, Kansas.

As the team’s managers, coaching staff, and eventually players walked down a path created by Penn’s cheerleaders to board a pair of charter buses, the Penn band played music from atop the flagpole steps overlooking 33rd Street.

Just a couple hours before the send-off, members of the team talked about how overwhelming and exciting the past two days have been.

“It’s all been fun,” sophomore guard Ryan Betley said. “Coach [Steve Donahue] just told us to enjoy the moment, and just enjoy all the extra things that come with it, so I’ve just been trying to do that.”

Credit: Chase Sutton

And while the Quakers travel to the Midwest with the odds heavily stacked against them, the team is intent on playing to win.

“It’s a forty-minute game, this isn’t a seven-game series,” Penn coach Steve Donahue said. “All the things that make up the NCAA Tournament make it so it’s a chance for a team like us to compete with someone like Kansas."

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