U of M players and band members prepare for Sunday's game - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

U of M players and band members prepare for Sunday's game

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RALEIGH, NC -

(WMC-TV) - Hopes are high for Sunday's University of Memphis NCAA game and players hope everyone can join them.

Michael Dixon tweeted: "Afternoon, just wanted to tell all of #TigerNation WE NEED YOU like never before tomorrow make the trip to NC #Sweet16orDie."

"Tomorrow will be more like a road came, just seeing the turn out of Virginia fans yesterday. And how close that Virginia is to Raleigh. I just think that we need as many people in here as possible to combat that," said Dixon during interviews on Saturday. Tiger fans if you can all get together and get on down to Raleigh that'd be great for us. Either way we're gonna be ready to play. It'd just be good in there to see a lot of blue versus that orange."

Tiger fans are experiencing a little deJa vu. Much like last year's 3rd round game, Memphis is treating this like a road game. Virginia is only a few hours away from Raleigh, making it convenient for fans to travel.

But Tiger Nation travels too, and even if they are small, they are loud and proud; led in part by the pep band.

Quite frankly it was more George Washington had more fans than us. So we had to lead the support," said drummer Casey Triplett.

They call themselves The Mighty Sound of The South, and Friday night that sound echoed through PNC Arena.

"We were small but we were loud and proud and we played our hearts out, the team played their hearts out, kept that energy up," said tuba player Shawn Younkin.

Energy that at times felt overpowered by the George Washington student section, but fans and band members took that as a challenge.

"It was loud, a lot of George Washington fans. Every Virginia fan wanted us to lose and we won," said Darren Jeans, cymbal player.

Which of course means come Sunday, the band has yet another important job ahead.

"Memphis fans have a habit of being small loud and proud," said Luke Powers, trombone player.

Charlottesville, Virginia is only a three and a half hour drive verses Memphis' 12 hour trek. Even Tiger players know how much they need their fans.

"Just seeing the turn out of Virginia fans and seeing how close that Virginia is to Raleigh I think we need as many people in here to combat that. Tiger fans if you all can get together and come on down to Raleigh, that'd be great for us.

All Southwest flights to Raleigh tomorrow are sold out, but there are still a few seats left on other airlines. Or, you could jump in the car right now and be there by morning.

You know who did not have to drive far? David Pellom's family. He has more than 30 people here from Willmington. We'll hear from them tonight at 10.

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