For the first time in school history — and after years of NCAA Tournament heartbreak — the University of Virginia is reveling in a national basketball championship. See photos and videos of the celebration in Charlottesville.
Hundreds of fans rushed the court in the minutes after the game was called, with fans dancing and singing beneath a Jumbotron still carrying a live feed of their team thousands of miles away in Minneapolis.
Excitement that had been building for hours before the game boiled over into the streets immediately after the win.
In the middle of the intersection on 13th and Wertland streets, overjoyed crowds set fire to a couch as dozens climbed onto the roofs of homes and cheered — a sacrifice, one fan said, serving as tribute to the long-awaited victory: “The team gave us a lot tonight, and we had to give them something back.”
King caught up with a group of graduate students after the game. One described anxiously sitting on the edge of her seat. Another said she was pumping her fist so strongly in the air, she became concerned she’d throw her phone.
It wasn’t just Charlottesville residents celebrating, either. Monday night’s game brought in people from all over the region.
“I’ve never watched a single game of basketball in my entire life until this season — college, pro or anything,” said Jessica Williams, a D.C. resident whose daughter is in her first year at U.Va. “This season, I’m suddenly obsessed. My husband thinks I’ve gone right over the edge.”
A more formal celebration is planned around the team’s return to Charlottesville on Saturday, April 13 at 2 p.m. at Scott Stadium. Virginia Athletics says the main surface lot will be open to fans by 4 p.m., with players expected to arrive between 4:45 and 5 p.m.
Alejandro Alvarez joined WTOP as a digital reporter and editor in June 2018. He is a writer and photojournalist focusing on politics, political activism and national affairs, with recent multimedia contributions to Reuters, MSNBC and PBS.
Rob Woodfork is a versatile broadcaster with a broad range of experience. He can be heard in in WTOP's traffic center and on the Sports Desk and his byline is on WTOP.com as a web writer/editor and sports columnist.