#8 Virginia Tech and #3 Iowa gave us a thrilling game at the Spectrum Center in Charlotte on Thursday night with the Hawkeyes getting the better of the Hokies 80-76 in this one. There's no doubt that both of these teams are legitimate national title contenders, and it wouldn't be surprising if we see a rematch sometime in late March or early April.
With that said, here are my postgame thoughts on the Hokies' close loss to Iowa in front of over 15,000 fans in Charlotte.
1. Fan Base Continuing to Grow for Virginia Tech WBB
Sometimes, I think we in the media can overhype some things as bigger moments than they really are, because we let ourselves get too wrapped up in the spectacle. However, there's no doubt that this game was a big moment for not only women's basketball, but also moreso for what has happened at Virginia Tech even if that may not get the national attention.
The Hokies played in front of the largest crowd they ever have in a regular season game with over 15,000 fans in Charlotte (and yes, that 15,000 number is quite close to the amount of people in the building on Thursday). This also wasn't a large Iowa crowd or a crowd full of just people who love women's basketball.
Rather, this was a Virginia Tech crowd with probably at least 65-70% of the crowd being Hokies. This comes after VT had their largest season opener crowd in recent memory with over 6,000 fans showing up for a 5pm game on a Monday night against High Point, which Tech won 94-55.
Imagine saying just a few years ago that Tech women's basketball would have a crowd like that for a Monday night game at 5pm, and then have Hokie fans travelling from far and wide to see them in Charlotte, spending hundreds of dollars on tickets and hotels for a regular season game in November.
The fact is that Virginia Tech has a growing women's basketball fanbase that isn't about to go away anytime soon. We're even seeing it with the increase in traffic in stories we write about this program here at The Tech Lunch Pail.
And why is that the case, because Virginia Tech has invested in the sport hiring the right coach in Kenny Brooks and building up a big time program. Hokie fans are showing up because they see the high-level program this is and are more than ready to rally around it just like Tech fans have rallied around VT Wrestling since their rise under Kevin Dresser with Tony Robie building on that.