Virginia college fans left to find new school to root for in NCAA Tournament

No one knows who will will the NCAA Tournament, but one thing is certain: local bar goers can’t seem to agree who they have winning it all.

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Fans watch the NCAA tournament at Paul's Deli in New Town on March 15. (Troy Jefferson/ WYDaily).
Fans watch the NCAA tournament at Paul’s Deli in New Town on March 15. (Troy Jefferson/ WYDaily).

Thursday, before most of the first round games were to be played, locals and tourists alike had their allegiance split when it comes to who to root for in the NCAA Tournament.

The top seeded Virginia Cavaliers were the overwhelming team of choice for WYDaily readers. According to a WYDaily survey, 47 percent of respondents are rooting for the Cavaliers.

But the Cavaliers fell to the University of Maryland Baltimore County on Friday night, the first time a No. 1 seed (UVA) has lost to a No. 16 seed in the tournament.

Before that, the Hokies lost to the University of Alabama, 86-83, on Thursday night. According to the poll, 30 percent of the respondents were cheering for Virginia Tech to cut down the nets.

The other in-state school, Redford, lost to no. 1 seeded Villanova, 87-61. Only one percent of respondents said they were rooting for the Highlanders.

At local bars, however, fans were even more divided on who to cheer for.

“I have Duke beating North Carolina in the final,” said Jeff Jolly, who was watching the Thursday afternoon games at Revolution Golf and Grille.

Despite living in Williamsburg, Jolly said he’s a Duke fan.

“I have the Tar Heels winning it all this year,” said Mike Caler, Jolly’s friend from Richmond.

Some fans who were watching the games were just watching it for the spirit of competition.

“I didn’t even fill out a bracket,” said Kevin Thatcher, a Syracuse fan. “I’m just watching for the fun of it.”

According to the poll, 20 percent of WYDaily readers are pulling for a NCAA Tournament team outside of Virginia.

Jacquelyn Liebler, director of marketing and sales at Revolution Golf and Grille, said no matter who you are rooting for, her establishment will show all the games.

In addition to showing the games in the dining area, the interactive sports bar will have a screen in each of its golf bays that will also show the collegiate action.

Jared Templeton, manager at Paul’s Deli at New Town, said his bar will also show all of the games in the bar section and will dedicate some TVs in the dining area to the NCAA Tournament as well.

Two things are certain: no matter where your allegiance lies, Williamsburg has options to watch the rest of the NCAA Tournament and local bar goers can’t seem to agree who they have winning it all. 

Editor’s Note: This story has been updated to include Virginia’s historic first-round loss to UMBC.

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