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Virginia Tech women’s basketball is a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament for the first time in school history. As a result, the Hokies got to host the First and Second Rounds.
Unlike the men’s game, the top 16 seeds host the first weekend of the women’s NCAA Tournament. It, obviously, makes a huge difference to play at home in front of a home crowd instead of hitting the road, staying a hotel, using away facilities and playing in front of a crowd that is rooting for the opponent.
That could go unsaid.
However, despite the fact that the top 16 seeds host the first two rounds, the games are played as a “neutral site” matchup. It doesn’t take away from the home-fan advantage, per say, but it does negate any home-court advantage.
The host teams cannot use their traditions. They can’t play their songs, use their graphics, etc.
It’s a “neutral” site.
For Virginia Tech, that means no ‘Enter Sandman,’ one of the coolest traditions in college sports. Before every sporting event in Blacksburg since 2000, most famously football, the Hokies come out to the 1991 Metallica classic. The song’s slow build to explosive eruption makes for the perfect entrance.
Due to the “neutral site” element to women’s March Madness, Virginia Tech could not play its traditional Enter Sandman entrance. If it did, it would be fined.
So students took matters into their own hands. As the Hokies hosted Chattanooga in the First Round, their fanbase broke out into a rousing a capella rendition of the song. It was a total chill bumps moment.
Virginia Tech hosts South Dakota State in the Second Round on Sunday. Its fanbase better start warming up their vocals for another chance to get loud and stick it to the NCAA’s “neutrality.”