RICHMOND, Va. -- Monday was the first official day of Spring Break at VCU, and the choice sunspot -- for those who had not headed out on vacation, at least -- was on the bricks outside of Richmond Coliseum. Students began lining up there at 8:45 a.m. to secure coveted, free floor seats for 7 p.m. the Colonial Athletic Association title game between VCU and George Mason. Senior Juan Cabungcan was the first there, joined by six friends at the head of the line, all of whom wanted to be front and center. "If we win," Cabungcan said, "I'm rushing the court." Another member of his crew, senior Hersch Bathia, postponed a European tour just to make it to the game; he was flying standby to Amsterdam on Tuesday morning instead. They take their basketball seriously in the CAA, especially when an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament is on the line.
By 3:45 p.m. the VCU students -- many of whom lived within walking distance, creating quite the home-court advantage -- were out in full force. A line 80-100 deep snaked away from the Coliseum, which has the appearance of a spaceship built by aliens far too into the color brown. Spotted were a Caped Guy, a Guy With Cane, and Rasta Eric Maynor (who unfortunately is not pictured above).
The George Mason line wasn't nearly as deep. These three guys -- grad student Jake Jenkins, junior Brian Glaser and alum Brian Chapman, from left to right -- had been holding it down on their own since 2:15.
Inside the spaceship, a VCU band member was readying the Rams' most prominent backer, Yoda, for the festivities. Yoda did not appear capable of storming the floor.