CHARLOTTE, NC (WWBT) - The Virginia Cavaliers are playing their first two NCAA Tournament rounds in Charlotte, North Carolina.
As many know, that's Duke and Tar Heel country, but as UVA's 9:20 p.m. tip-off nears, the streets of Charlotte are being infiltrated by Cavalier orange and blue.
Many are taking advantage of the location in the fact that it's within driving distance of many Wahoo-popular areas. NBC12's crew in Charlotte encountered fans from Charlottesville and Richmond prior to Friday's game, enjoying the sites and gearing up for the contest this evening.
"I came down this morning," said Richmond's Jim Flanary. "Left at 6, got here at 11; it was easy."
As the saying goes, winning is the best marketing tool, and the Cavaliers' success certainly has drawn basketball fans in. UVA is 31-2 entering the NCAA Tournament, won the ACC regular season and tournament titles, and is the No. 1 overall seed in the field of 68 this year.
Michael Sandell is a Cavalier fan who lives in Charlotte, so he's excited to see his favorite team in his own back yard. Sandell, like many, has enjoyed watching the Wahoos' successful run this year.
"This is absolutely wonderful. It's like, we're 31-2, we're unanimous number one in the country, Tony Bennett does it the right way," Sandell says. "We have a lot of character."
UVA will take on Maryland-Baltimore County on Friday night at 9:20 p.m., a meeting of the tournament's top seed against the South Region's number 16.
A 16 seed has never beaten a one in tournament history.
With a victory, the Cavaliers would face either Creighton or Kansas State on Sunday in Charlotte.
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