RADFORD, Va. (WDBJ7) In Radford, fans left early Thursday morning excited about the historic game for the university.
A convoy of buses and cars planned to arrive in Pittsburgh in time to watch the game. All seats were full.
Packing two buses was a priority for students and the university. All students on the bus won tickets to tonight's game through Student Affairs. They had to write a 100 word essay about why they should get to go to the game. It was an assignment they couldn't pass up.
It's 9:15 Thursday morning and Radford University students are wide awake and ready to cheer for the Highlanders.
"It's like the experience of a lifetime. I'm really excited to go," said Caroline Boyd, a Radford University junior.
"It's a once in a lifetime opportunity," said Tyce Bennett, a Radford University sophomore.
The long trip to Pittsburgh may seem long, but it gave them time to think up creative signs, and new chants.
"It's worth it to go see Radford play," Bennett said.
"The kids on the bus are pumped. We're pumped. We're excited," said Jenny Dunford, a Radford University senior.
"It's going to be the upset of the century. I'm calling it now. Cinderella story," Boyd said.
Some students who weren't as lucky to hitch a ride on the bus, carpooled with friends.
"I am super excited to be part of this environment. I've never been to a March Madness game, never really been to a college basketball game. So I'm ready for it, I'm stoked," said Jacob Distaso, Radford University student.
A long train of Radford fans followed the leader north in a game that marks a big moment in the university's history.
"Villanova doesn't know what they've got coming for them," Distaso said.
For fans who weren't able to make the trip, the university is held a watch party in the on-campus student center.