VCU & UR earn Sweet 16, excitement builds

By Gene Petriello - bio | email | facebook

RICHMOND, VA. (WWBT) - It's a double dose of March Madness in Richmond, as both Virginia Commonwealth University and the University of Richmond make it to the Sweet 16 in the Men's NCAA basketball tournament in San Antonio.

Let the smack talk begin. It's only Monday, but still students at both UR and VCU are ready for their big Sweet 16 match-ups this week. One thing that's on everyone's mind -- if both teams win -- is an all-Richmond Elite Eight match up, that could mean big things for a city now sitting pretty on the map.

First it was the Spiders, punching their ticket for the Sweet 16 on Saturday.

"It's crazy. Everyone's been wild about it. It's been about 22 years since we've been there. It's such a great time to be here to be a Spider. Be proud," says UR Fan Jeremy Lampman.

"As a fellow athlete, I appreciate these guys. I know them. It's exciting and it's unbelievable," says fellow UR Fan Dylan Stoops.

Then, Richmond's cross town rival VCU, punching their first ever ticket to the Sweet 16 with an emphatic win over Purdue on Sunday.

"It's crazy here man. The streets are going crazy. Everyone is going crazy. I love it," says VCU Fan Jonathan Reed.

"Everyone in the dorms was screaming. Bunch of excitement," says VCU fan Justine Dutton.

Two schools, from two non-power conferences, in the same region, making some big time moves in the basketball world. Everyone here knows how big this really is.

"We are just having a good time celebrating the city and the basketball team," adds Jonathan.

"And it will bring a lot of people in," says Jeremy.

"Everyone is talking about it on Facebook, Twitter. Everything," says VCU Fan Marc Rosen.

All you need to do is search for either the Spiders or Rams and the posts are endless.

Oh, and you can't forget about the smack talk. It's on.

Derek Oberschain says, "All of my friends at VCU, I don't talk to them anymore. Had to ditch them!"

Gene asking, "For good, or just for this week?"

Derek answering, "Just this week. Well, maybe forever if we lose."

A lot of you are picking up some new gear to root on the Spiders and Rams. And just think-- both teams are just one win away from playing each other -- for a chance to go the Final Four!

"The city would be crazy! Completely divided by black and yellow versus red and blue," says Jeremy.

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