March 20, 2014
There's excitement for the UVa men's basketball team as they take on Coastal Carolina Friday night. One group ready to pump up the crowd has left Charlottesville on a high note on Thursday.
Before packing up their gear and loading up the bus to Raleigh, UVa's HOOps Band had one last practice at home.
There are 350 band members total, but NCAA rules mean only 29 can be at the tournament. Many of them are upperclassman but they could switch out as UVa continues to compete.
A lot of these students are sacrificing classes to be going to this tournament, doing their schoolwork on the bus. However, they say an opportunity like this is one you don't pass up.
"It's unbelievable. I'm so excited for this trip. I've never been on one before. And we're just awed to be a one seed and going to this game really strong," said HOOps Bands member Maggie McNamara, who plays trombone.
The band isn't playing on the court with the team but they say their role is to pump up the crowd.
"We really hope that the energy that we bring, especially to the fans, also the players, but I kinda think they can't hear what we're doing. But atleast we're really pumping up the fans that are there. We want to play a big role in that in getting people really into the game so that the players can, like, feed off of that energy," said trombone play Stefanie Bell.
"Our role is to get down there and unite the fans, and get everybody cheering and really excited and really make it as home court as we possibly can," said William Pease, Director of Bands at Uva.
"We just try to stay as energized as possible. And we're all students so it's our heart on the line, too, you know. We really want them to do well."