Fans Give UVa Celebratory Send-Off to the Sweet 16

March 26, 2014

The UVa men's basketball team has landed in New York City. The team will play Michigan State at Madison Square Garden on Friday.

Before they left Charlottesville, fans gathered at the John Paul Jones Arena for a celebratory send-off to the Sweet 16.

Carrying signs and decked out in orange and blue, the team's support system cheered and offered high fives and words of encouragement as the players boarded the bus to their plane.

"It was just such a thrilling moment. We wanted to send them off and say good luck in New York City. We'll be watching from home but cheering them on," said fan Lorrie Smith.

Seventy-one-year-old Jerry Reid has cheered on the team at all the home games as part of the 'Hoo Crew. The fourth-year student has gotten the chance to interact with some of the players this year.

"To be with them, it's just spectacular. It makes the hair on the back of my neck stand up every time I go in JPJ," said Reid.

Fans say, while Wednesday's send-off was exciting, they're hoping for an even bigger homecoming.

"It's going to be 10,000 people here minimum when they come back because they're going to come back victorious," said Reid.

"I think we're going all the way," agreed fan Tara Friedman. "Go 'Hoos!"

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