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Friday, March 22, 2013
March Madness, right in our backyard

By Elena Delle Donne

Delle Donne
Elena Delle Donne and No. 6 seed Delaware will face No. 11 West Virigina on Sunday.

In less than 48 hours, my team will take the court in the first round of the NCAA tournament. As if the expected excitement that comes with the "big dance" isn't enough, we have had the privilege of watching the preparations for the tournament take place right before our eyes.

In what seems like no time at all, NCAA officials and staff members have taken over our home arena, the Bob Carpenter Center. Black tablecloths and carpets cover the building and the blue NCAA logo can be seen at every turn. All of these preparations have only helped to increase my anticipation for tip off against West Virginia on Sunday.

We will be taking the next two days to become fully prepared for Sunday's game. Although the games are being played on our home court, we are staying in a hotel off campus for the weekend to block out any and all distractions. The next few days will be filled with watching film, reading scouting reports and getting on the practice court to prepare for the game.

When the whole team is together, you can feel the excitement, anticipation and deep focus we are possessing. We are preparing to take full advantage of the opportunity we have been given. I am constantly reminding my teammates that, every once in a while, we need to step back and really take in the experiences we are having. March Madness is a ton of basketball packed into just a few weeks -- we can't forget to enjoy this quickly passing time.

On Sunday afternoon, my teammates and I will hop on the bus and head to the Bob for another game; another home game. I can't wait to see the Bob plastered with blue and gold and the excitement for these first-round games. There really is no better time of the year than March Madness.

Let the games begin ... and, as always, GO BLUE HENS!