Fans Rocked John Paul Jones Arena Monday Night, Watched Virginia Basketball Make History

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Attend any Virginia men’s basketball home game at John Paul Jones Arena and you will learn fans have a deep love and appreciation for the program head coach Tony Bennett has built. Presented with the opportunity to watch their beloved Hoos play for the school’s first ever NCAA basketball championship on Monday night, supporters turned out at JPJ in impressive fashion. They were rewarded, witnessing on Hoo Vision a thrilling Virginia 85-77 overtime win over Texas Tech in Minneapolis.

The excitement was palpable outside of JPJ when I arrived shortly before the arena doors opened at 8 p.m. One woman said, “I can’t believe this is happening,” shortly after having her picture taken to commemorate the moment.

Doors opened, and once inside you needed to be aware as quite a few fans scrambled in a mad dash to snatch a seat. By the 9:20 p.m. ET tip time, John Paul Jones Arena was packed with fans ready to cheer UVA on to victory. Some sections, including the upper deck on one side of the arena, were shut off, but aside from that the arena was filled to the brim.

Fans celebrated UVA’s 17-7 start before quieting down when Texas Tech stormed back thanks to its barrage of 3s. The crowd was happy at halftime, though, as Ty Jerome drained a 3 to put the Hoos up 3.

Chants of U-V-A and “Let’s go Wahoos” filled JPJ throughout the night. A couple of waves went down as well. From start to finish, the fans were indeed phenomenal, cheering loudly for their Hoos with every basket. Kyle Guy’s layup in regulation put Virginia up four with 1:44 to play, but then Texas Tech rattled off seven straight points to grab a 68-65 lead with under 20 seconds left in regulation. The crowd went from exuberant to nervous, seemingly in the blink of an eye.

JPJ exploded when De’Andre Hunter hit the game-tying 3, a shot that sent fans literally bouncing off the walls even as Texas Tech brought the ball back up the court looking for the win. Other than the moment UVA captured the crown, this may have been the loudest the arena got. The home crowd erupted once more when Hunter drained another 3 in overtime, putting the Hoos up 75-73. With 17 seconds left in overtime, UVA held an 81-75 lead and the Cavalier faithful were starting to feel it.

Moments later, Hunter corralled the game-ending rebound and hurled the ball in the air in celebration. Virginia had won a national championship!

The Good Ole Song rang out …

… before students funneled out to continue the celebration elsewhere. What a night it was to be a UVA fan. Go Hoos!

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3 Responses You are logged in as Test

  1. I am so glad I decided to take the train down to Charlottesville for the night to watch the game at JPJA and revel on the Corner afterwards. The atmosphere was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced, a true once-in-a-lifetime thing.

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