By Kimberly Davis

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VILLANOVA, Pa. (CBS) — On Thursday, sixth-seeded Villanova will take on 11th-seeded St. Mary’s in Hartford, Connecticut. And the team received a final sendoff from fans Tuesday afternoon.

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It’s the Wildcats’ seventh-straight season in the big dance, as they look to defend their championship. But it will be an uphill battle after the team lost a lot of talent to the NBA draft during the off season.

Some fans waited outside Finneran Pavilion for hours to wish their team good luck. One family Eyewitness News spoke with waited for more than three hours, before they too will be off to Hartford.

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“We’re going to Hartford to share this, to make memories, so it’s a great experience,” fan Bizette Gailewicz said. “We went with them to Pittsburgh last year and we’re going to Connecticut this year.”

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“They have a great team, they have a great coach and like the best players,” Bizette’s son, Jake, said.