March 20, 2011
VU Tournament Preview | Vanderbilt Game Notes | 2011 Bracket | Cincinnati Trivia
Smith homecoming, take two | Vanderbilt-Louisville Press Conferences
10:26 am - Sunday
It's gameday in Cincinnati. The arena is filling up and we are less than an hour out from tip. Complete postgame coverage will be available on VUCommodores.com.
10:05 pm - Saturday
Mattos interviews Rhoads
Vanderbilt play-by-play announcer Charlie Mattos caught up with senior guard Jence Rhoads on Saturday at the Cintas Center to record part of his pregame Show.
Cincinnati Taste Test
Cincinnati has numerous attractions to visit, and in our short time in the Queen City, we have managed to eat food from three of the local favorites.
As soon as the team arrived in Cincinnati on Friday, it paid a visit to Montgomery Inn, the restaurant known for its ribs. While at Montgomery Inn, the team polished off its dinner with Graeter's homemade ice cream - a Cincinnati original.
Saturday evening, a few members of the support staff, made the trek to sample Cincinnati's famous Skyline Chili, and we all left impressed.
5:30 pm - Saturday
Coleman interviews Puleo
Before Saturday's practice at the Cintas Center at Xavier, Vanderbilt junior Jordan Coleman interviewed fellow junior Angela Puleo.
Also be sure to check out the press conference videos from Saturday afternoon to see what both teams had to say before Sunday's game.
10:38 am - Saturday
Cintas Center Photo Gallery
The eve of Vanderbilt's first round NCAA Tournament game began early with meetings at the Cintas Center for Head Coach Melanie Balcomb and Vanderbilt administrators. Before the meetings, we captured a quick video and photos of the arena, which opened almost 11 years ago, but looks no more than five years old. View the video and photos above.
The team will be making the short 10-minute drive to the Cintas Center in time for its 11:30 a.m. CT (12:30 ET) press conference Saturday. Representing Vanderbilt at the press conference will be Coach Balcomb, Tiffany Clarke, Jence Rhoads and Hannah Tuomi.
Vanderbilt will then hold practice at the Cintas Center, beginning at 12:10 p.m. CT (1:10 ET). We will have video and quotes of the press conference later this afternoon.
A closer look at the Cintas Center
The Cintas Center, located in Cincinnati, Ohio, opened in June of 2000 on the Xavier campus. The 10,250 seat arena houses the men's and women's basketball teams, as well as the Musketeer volleyball program. In addition to hosting athletic events, the Cintas Center has held concerts, corporate events and is the site for graduation every year.
In the summer of 2010, Xavier installed a new state-of the-art digital scoreboard and ribbon boards in the Cintas Center to give fans the ultimate experience. Other amenities include a media production suite, the Joseph Club and Duff's Lounge for fan gatherings and 22 luxury box suites.
This marks the third time the Cintas Center has hosted a NCAA Tournament event. Xavier hosted the first and second rounds last season and the first and second rounds in 2001. Vanderbilt was also here last season for the NCAA Tournament.
11:55 pm - Friday
Vanderbilt got one step closer to beginning its NCAA Tournament on Friday when the Commodores cruised into Cincinnati after departing Nashville at 2:45 p.m. Upon arrival in Cincinnati, Vanderbilt's team treated itself to the finger-licking ribs at the infamous Montgomery Inn.
This is Vanderbilt's second straight NCAA Tournament trip to Cincinnati, and is the second year in a row the team has eaten at Montgomery Inn - the favorite restaurant of Vanderbilt guard and Queen City native Gabby Smith. The walls of the two-story restaurant are covered with autographed pictures and jerseys of famous athletes who have eaten at the Montgomery Inn through the years.
The Commodores also continued their annual tradition of celebrating strength and conditioning coach Tasha Weddle's July birthday during March by presenting Weddle with a cake at Montgomery Inn. The team also surprised Weddle before the SEC Tournament.
Vanderbilt will have its press conference and practice session on Saturday at Cintas Center.