Rece Davis: “(UVA) is a great place for us to come.”

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Rece Davis: “(UVA) is a great place for us to come.”

Sutton Young, Sports Writer

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For the fourth time in the last five years, ESPN’s College GameDay paid a visit to John Paul Jones Arena. With Virginia (#3) and Duke (#2) both ranked in the top three prior to the match-up, it was pretty clear, GameDay would be returning to the Commonwealth. Rece Davis, the host of GameDay, says Virginia has “the best” GameDay crowd by a long shot.

Rece Davis: “They’re love for their school and for their team, and the way they take a chance to showcase that on our show, we’re deeply appreciative of. They give us a great environment.”

Some students decided to brave the frigid temperatures to ensure they’d have a spot in one of the front rows. Some of them brought tents and camped out for twenty-four hours. That decision paid off as the line at midnight went from around a few dozen to a few thousand by sunrise.

RD: “We always say we can do a great show whether we have a good crowd or not, but when you have an unbelievable one, it gives you a little juice and it makes it a lot more fun.”

Each time GameDay has come to Charlottesville, a student has drained a half-court shot to win $18,000 in tuition. That price bumped up to $19,000 this year. The chances of the student making the shot are 1 in 100. For all three to make the shot, 1 in 1,000,000. Gabriel Simmons was the lucky student selected. However, he had some massive shoes to fill. With 6 seconds left, he drained his fourth shot to win $19,000 and made Virginia FOUR for FOUR in half-court shots.

Virginia later fell to Duke in the highly anticipated rematch, 81-71, but the full College GameDay experience is certainly something the Virginia students will never forget.

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