Augustana players and the Vikings mascot pose for a photo before the team departs for the D-III Final Four

Steve Batterson

The Augustana men's basketball team is on its way to the NCAA Division III Final Four.

Surrounded by a group of supporters who braved frigid conditions, the Vikings boarded a bus outside the Carver Center this morning bound for Salem, Virginia and a national semifinal game Friday against Williams College.

"We're not looking forward to the 13-hour bus ride, but we are looking forward to representing Augustana College and the Quad-Cities in the Final Four," coach Grey Giovanine said.

"I know these guys will give it everything they have to make you proud."

College president Stephen Bahls wished the team well and congratulated the Vikings on their achievements during a 21-8 season.

"It's an exciting time for everyone," Bahls said. "We are so proud of you."

The Vikings, who play at 6:30 p.m. on Friday, will break up their trip with a late-afternoon practice at historic Hinkle Fieldhouse in Indianapolis.

Augustana will give fans in the Quad-Cities a chance to watch Friday's game, hosting a watch party at the Carver Center. Doors open at 5 p.m.

The college will also host a reception for fans in Salem beginning 90 minutes before tipoff.