Rallies for VCU & UR teams around Richmond

By Andy Jenks - bio | email | facebook
Posted by Phil Riggan – email

RICHMOND, VA (WWBT) - The Spiders and the Rams are now on their way to Texas, as they chase an NCAA Men's basketball tournament title. And fans were out in Richmond in full force today at a series of rallies to wish their teams luck.

The crowd of several hundred is just starting to clear out following a half-hour pep rally, the climax to a day of "Fandemonium" that RVA has rarely seen before.

Jam-packed along Richmond's Canal Walk, were several hundred fans of RVA basketball, serving up a not-so-tasty menu for national pundits, like ESPN analyst Dick Vitale.

Earlier, the overachieving underdogs from VCU -- the ones that were never supposed to be here -- boarded their bus with rock star swagger, amid a raucous Rams crowd.

"We've got a chance to win it all, chance to go to the Final Four," said one fan.

"Just keep the momentum going, go Rams," said another.

Across town, standing room only outside the Robins Center, as fans of the Richmond Spiders cheered their team on the way to San Antonio.

"Anything could happen. We could take it here, only one game, the next game, take the next one, go all the way all I'm saying," said a fan.

"So exciting, to be part of this historic moment," said another.

The Cinderella stories have turned Richmond into the self-proclaimed Center of the Hoops Universe this week, with school pride on full display and a pointed message: Who says we don't belong?

"It's crazy. I've been coming to games since my freshman year and I've never seen this kind of enthusiasm, it's great," said a Rams fan.

Just two weeks ago, who would've guessed that Richmond's two teams would even be in this position, and so many elite basketball squads would be watching them from home?

"Amazing, wild, people screaming, Sweet 16 all the way. Sweet 16! Sweet 16! Sweet 16! Sweet...I'm telling you, it's out of this world," said a Spiders fan.

Venture Richmond gave out 500 t-shirts for free at the Canal Walk rally. They were gone in less than an hour.

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