Flanked by cheerleaders and the pep band, students and alumni, the American University men’s basketball team gathered at Mary Graydon Center on Sunday evening to learn its opponent and travel destination for the NCAA tournament.

Really, though, the specifics were not going to matter.

The Eagles knew that they were going to be a low seed (maybe as high as No. 14?), that they would have to face a national titan (Villanova, Duke, Kansas?) and that they should brace for an away game (unofficially, anyway) rather than a neutral setting.

The pieces fell into place when the West Region was unveiled.

The No. 15 seed Eagles (20-12) were paired with No. 2 Wisconsin (26-7) on Thursday at Bradley Center in Milwaukee, a mere 78 miles east of the Badgers’ home arena.

“I’m sure they will have a little bit of a home-court advantage, but that is okay with us,” junior guard John Schoof said. “None of us have been to the tournament, so it’s going to be a cool experience.”

Cool, and perhaps a little cruel having to play at a venue that promises to fill with Wisconsin red. (AU’s colors are red and blue, and as the party wound down Sunday, an athletic department official reminded traveling fans to pack blue.)

AU’s previous trip to the tournament provided a similar backdrop: In 2009, the Eagles faced Villanova in Philadelphia — and, as a No. 14 seed, led by 14 in the second half before fading down the stretch.

“We are used to being on the road,” Eagles Coach Mike Brennan said. “It’s definitely a road game.”

Brennan is in his first season in charge but no stranger to AU postseason: He was an assistant on the 2008 and ’09 teams that shook second-seeded Tennessee and then No. 3 Villanova before falling short in the program’s first NCAA tournament appearances.

Since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, seven No. 15 seeds have won their opening game — most recently, Florida Gulf Coast last year and Lehigh and Norfolk State in 2012.

Are the Eagles next?

“We have a lot of confidence,” junior guard Darius “Pee Wee” Gardner said. “We believe we can beat anybody if we play our game right.”