Charlottesville was the center of the college basketball universe on Saturday morning as thousands of students and fans packed John Paul Jones Arena for the broadcast of ESPN’s College GameDay.
The network’s flagship program aired from the University of Virginia for the first time, ahead of a marquee matchup between U.Va. and Duke.
Though the back-and-forth game later that evening resulted in U.Va.’s first loss of the year, the energy and excitement started early on Saturday: lines stretched from the arena as the sun was rising, students raised sign-making to a new level, JPJ was loud, U.Va. basketball legend Ralph Sampson made an appearance, and second-year student Tyler Lewis drained a half-court shot to win $18,000.
“We haven't had a more enthusiastic, a more clever, a more energized crowd, and it really gave great energy to the show,” said GameDay host Rece Davis of ESPN afterward. “This was a blast. It was so much fun, I'm wondering why it took us so long to get here, because this was great.”
Take a look at the GameDay experience through the eyes of the students and fans.