BLACKSBURG, Va. (WDBJ7) Hokie fans in Blacksburg were disappointed Thursday night after their 9th seeded Virginia Tech basketball team lost to 8th seeded Wisconsin.
Students, alumni, and other fans flooded the streets and bars of downtown to show their support to their team in an NCAA Tournament for the first time in 10 years.
Sharkey's in downtown Blacksburg was packed with lines going out the door sometimes.
Fans were eating, drinking, even dancing. But once that first shot went up for Virginia Tech, they were cheering.
Graduate Student Nikita Chadha said, "I think we've worked really hard over the past 10 years to get into the tournament, so it's really great to see us in the tournament and prove to everyone how good we are."
Unfortunately, only making the tournament will have to be enough. Wisconsin ended the Hokies' dancing dreams Thursday.
"I'm going to cry and be very sad," Virginia Tech Senior Courtney Callahan said.
But fellow Senior Daniel Fohs said, "It's definitely not a loss, it's definitely a total win, only because we haven't been to the tournament in 10 years. That's huge! That's a big thing that's happened for our school."
One of the toughest parts is that Virginia Tech would have gone on to play the No. 1 overall seeded Villanova.
In talks with these fans, not only were they not scared of that team, they were hoping for the chance to play them.
Fifth-year Senior Mariano Novoa explained, "They're a tough team, they're good, but if we play them tough I think we can do everything. Really in the tournament it's whoever catches fire, it's whoever has luck. We saw that with Syracuse last year, an 11 seed going all the way to the Final Four, who says that a 9 seed can't do it this year?"
Now the team will make their way back here to Blacksburg. And they'll still come back to a supportive crowd for what they were able to accomplish this year.
Some fans said Thursday night one reason they really feel bad is the seniors. Many of the people in the bars were seniors themselves, and hate to see their classmates lose out on going farther in the tournament.