The Drury University men’s basketball team arrived in Atlanta on Wednesday afternoon ahead of Sunday’s Division II national championship game with Metro State. The Panthers have advanced to the NCAA tournament in six of Steve Hesser’s nine years as their coach, but this is the first time the school is playing for the championship.
Prior to departing from Springfield, I had the opportunity to talk with Coach Hesser before they boarded the plane. He seemed relaxed and stated that he wants his team to enjoy the experience, but realize when it comes game time, remember they have a job to do.
If you do not live in the Springfield area, you may be unfamiliar with the Drury program, but the campus and city have rallied behind their team. Classes are being cancelled, professors are making the trip to Atlanta as well as scores of other fans to show support.
The Panthers will play Metro State out of the Denver area. The game will tip off at 3 p.m. CT from Phillips Arena in downtown Atlanta, site of this year’s Division I Final Four.
AUDIO Listen to Missourinet’s exclusive interview with Steve Hesser (8:00)