As the University of Virginia men’s basketball team readies for “March Madness” on the court, the ’Hoo Crew is preparing to take on the battle in the stands.
Last season, the U.Va. student fan group was awarded the Naismith “Student Section of the Year” award. Its members plan to live up to that title as the NCAA Tournament kicks off this week.
The ’Hoo Crew, whose ranks include any undergraduate and graduate student who attends and supports U.Va. athletics, is kicking off its tournament efforts by participating in an Atlantic Coast Conference bracket challenge. Supported by Fantasy Sports for Charity, the challenge will contribute $1 million to U.Va.’s Relay for Life fundraiser for cancer research if any ’Hoo Crew member correctly predicts every NCAA Tournament game. If the ’Hoo Crew's members post the highest average score among NCAA student groups, Relay for Life will receive up to $5,000.
The ’Hoo Crew’s support won’t be confined to the online contest, of course. The group plans to travel to support the team in person should the Cavaliers reach the “Sweet 16” round and beyond. Last year, students packed a charter bus to root the team on in New York during the tournament, and they’re aiming to fill more buses this year.
“Traveling and supporting the team was one of my favorite memories from last season,” said third-year student Logan Dickenson, the group’s director of internal relations. “We're so excited for the madness of March to begin again.”