Natasha Cloud Blog: St. Joe's ready to show Georgia what Philly basketball is all about in NCAA Tournament

Photo by Sideline Photos, LLC.

St. Joe's star Natasha Cloud blogs about facing a SEC school in the first round, preparing for their game against Georgia, and seizing the moment.

The Hawks are reporting from Storrs, Connecticut!! It feels so good to be back here playing at the beautiful Gampel Pavilion once again. Even though Monday night was one of the highlights of our week (Selection Monday), practice Tuesday morning was one of the best we have had in a while! Everyone was extremely focused and motivated; we are here to do one thing and that is to play our game.

Practice this week went back to normal. We finally knew who our next opponent would be, so we were back in a rhythm. Georgia is your typical, tough, hard-nosed SEC school with some very talented guards. Last year we played Vanderbilt, another SEC team; while they are not exactly similar, they both represent that SEC conference. We are more than confident in the game plan that we have set, and are ready to show this SEC team what "Philly" basketball is all about!

Today was somewhat of a busy day for us. Wake up was at 9 a.m. where we would proceed to have team breakfast followed up by study hall. Again, with missing classes on Friday for departure to Storrs, a lot of work had to be made up, so study hall was once again a relief.

After study hall it was time to head the Gampel where we would talk to media and finally get on the court for some practice time. I already stated that Tuesday's practice was one of the best that we have had in a while; well today's practice was ten times better! After practice we returned to the hotel where we took a much-needed nap before film.

We watched some more film on Georgia, then proceeded with a walk through of the rest of their plays, and finished up with an inspirational video that feature a very special Hawk alum: Vince Papale!!! After that it was my favorite time of the day (DINNER TIME!!!).

We went to dinner at a restaurant in Hartford and I can honestly say IT WAS THE BEST FOOD THAT WE HAVE HAD ALL YEAR! Remember how we call ourselves "big girls"? Well tonight we were huge girls! I left the restaurant looking like a blimp! Dinner was a good time to spend together as a team and really just get out of the hotel and have some fun with the family!

Tomorrow is the day that every athlete dreams about: the opportunity to play at the highest level possible in our game. As a team, we are beyond blessed, thankful, and humble throughout this experience.

Being able to represent our school, our city and our conference is something that most people never get to do! We are more than prepared and confident in our game plan, and we are more than ready to just play. It is March Madness people!!! A time to survive and advance! Tomorrow for us is not promised anymore; it is do or die time!

I can assure you that no matter the outcome tomorrow, we are going to fight, claw, and leave everything that we have to give on the court! That is what being a Hawk is all about. Tune in Sunday at 5:30pm to our game versus Georgia; and remember, THE HAWK WILL NEVER DIE!

For more on Cloud's journey from the A-10 to the NCAA Tournament, check out our Natasha Cloud blog storystream.

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