UVA fans look forward to NCAA tournament in Orlando

ORLANDO, Fla. – March is here and that means so is the madness!

The NCAA tournament kicks off its round of 64 play on Thursday and the Virginia Cavaliers will try to make another run.

UVA starts its quest to reach the top in Orlando for the first time since 2017. While the Cavaliers and their opponent Furman … have moved on from the initial excitement of making the big dance … some local fans will see the wahoos for the first time in a long time.

“It’s the first time I’ve been able to see them in the tournament. First time I’ve even seen them live since the first time we moved down here,” UVA fan David Mack said.

Mack and his family are Virginia Beach natives but have been in Orlando for 8 years.

“I’ve been a fan since I was about 9 so we’re at 35 years now I’ve been rooting for uva. Virginia was the first team I ever watched,” Mack said.

Similar story for John Alphin, a 1967 UVA grad — ready to root for his alma mater albeit nervous.

“Every game is competitive so I’m not taking anything for granted,” Alphin said.

Neither are the players and coaches.

“When you’ve been humbled in this tournament when you’ve tasted the great success that we have, I look at all as an incredible opportunity,” Tony Bennett, UVA Head Coach said.

“Yeah so now we’re all serious now and it’s just like any other game at this point.,” Kadin Shedrick, Cavaliers forward said.

“I believe this team ended the reward process as soon as we figured out who we were playing and where we were going,” Mike Bothwell, Furman Paladins guard said.

“I think when you get in big games, what’s the best way to win them? Get to your identity,” Bob Richey, Furman Head Coach said.

About the Authors:

Alli Graham came aboard the digital team as an evening digital content producer in June 2022.

Eric is no stranger to the Roanoke Valley. He is a Roanoke native and proud graduate of William Fleming High School.