Students and fans were queued up outside John Paul Jones Arena on Saturday hours before the doors opened at 9 a.m. for ESPN’s College GameDay pregame show, and the University’s sign game was strong.
In fact, some students had been lined up overnight, waiting for the program’s second visit to Charlottesville in as many years.
Thousands turned out to JPJ for the live show, which aired hours before the UVA men’s basketball team defeated the University of North Carolina in a nationally televised game. Afterward, the network’s hosts praised the University’s student culture.
The Washington Post reported that “GameDay” host Rece Davis said the crowd was the most responsive the basketball version of the show has had in its 12-year run.
“That’s the cool thing for us, we love the energy and excitement, but when you have a crowd that’s engaged in the show and they react to what you do, it gives you a little adrenaline surge. Smart kids, at this school, obviously, they listened, they were engaged, polite, respectful, clever — and they were loud. They were loud at the right times,” Davis said, according to the Post.
To close the program, UVA fourth-year Andrew Board, a double major in economics and media studies, drained a half-court shot on his first attempt to win $18,000.
UVA students are now two-for-two in that segment: last year, then second-year student Tyler Lewis also made the shot.
Take a look at how students and others documented the experience on Saturday, from early morning lines to post-game celebration.