Cavs' Families React to First Tournament Win

By: Lindsay Joy Email
By: Lindsay Joy Email

The Virginia men's basketball team is on to the round of 32 in the NCAA Tournament, after beating Coastal Carolina 70-59 in Raleigh Friday night. But advancing to the next round wasn't easy for the Cavaliers. Their matchup against the Chanticleers was close until the final minutes, which made for quite an emotional roller coaster for the 'Hoos fans and families.

"Our hearts were racing," said Nichole Gill, the sister of UVa forward Anthony Gill. "We would jump and high five, and then sit down and be like 'oh crap they scored again.' But when we finally got the win it was a sigh of relief for sure."

"I was really nervous," said Mariah Soucie, whose father is Brad Soucie, UVa's director of basketball operations. "But I knew in the second half our team could pull it off and we could really do it."

After a slow start, the Cavaliers trailed by five at halftime before building a lead in the final minutes of the second half.

"The first half was literally killing me, I think I'm losing years off my life from this," added Jenna Jamil, Anthony Gill's girlfriend. "In the second half, we got back into it. I'm just so excited and it's just a great experience, and we're all having so much fun with it."

"When we were down by 10, I was getting a little nervous, but I felt like we had it in us," said Anna Bennett, whose father is head coach Tony Bennett. "We've been doing really well, and it's cool to see us continue to do so."

The 'Hoos may have given their fans a scare in their first game of the tournament, but that hasn't stopped them from coming out in force in Raleigh.

"A whole lot more than I thought we were going to see," Jamil said of the UVa turnout around the city. "It's just like we're one huge family. We're all high-fiving all the time and just really cheering each other on the whole time."

"A lot of orange, different shades of orange," added Nichole Gill. "We don't stop repping it, but we see the fans doing that too. It's a sea of orange everywhere we go, and that's so heartwarming for sure."

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