Hokie Nation sings VT to victory as NCAA restrict walk-out songs for March Madness

After Hokie Nation proudly sang Enter Sandman at this year’s NCAA tournament, some college basketball fans are wondering if the organization really did ban the Metallica song.

March Madness has finally arrived. The best Division I basketball teams from across the US have been invited to battle it out on the courts for the title of NCAA champions.

Confusion has arisen after a rumor that NCAA had banned Virginia Tech from playing Enter Sandman, as they usually do at home games. Let’s take a look at the rules which have actually been put in place this tournament.

So, did NCAA ban Enter Sandman?

Photo by Robert Simmons/NCAA Photos via Getty Images

No, the NCAA did not ban Enter Sandman, but allegedly said Virginia Tech would be fined if the song was played at March Madness.

The NCAA requested that Virginia Tech not play the Metallica track as they were hosting this tournament game as a “neutral site.” This means it was not treated as a regular home game.

Supporters of the women’s college basketball team, known as Hokie Nation, responded by singing Enter Sandman at Virginia Tech’s game against Chattanooga. They soared to victory, securing a 58-33 win against Chattanooga in the first round of the 2023 women’s NCAA tournament.

NCAA lines up ‘neutral site’ games for March Madness

Neutral site games are now common occurrences in college sports. Although there are many college-aged fans who wish for games, be they football, basketball, baseball et al, to be played at home or away. But more and more games are being played at ‘neutral sites’, essentially an off-campus venue.

For Virginia Tech’s game against Chattanooga, the NCAA requested that they treat the venue as a neutral site. But in fact, the game was played on the Hokies home turf.

Enter Sandman has been used by Virginia Tech’s Hokies for years

Metallica’s Enter Sandman has been used by Virginia Tech’s sports teams during their walk-outs for over two decades. The first time the song was used by the football team on August 27, 2000. The song had been released nine years prior, in 1991.

On December 1, 2001, a new tradition was started by the Hokie Nation. A member of the college’s Marching Band started jumping up and down, which prompted his bandmates to do the same. By December 1, 2001, the tradition was cemented, as students jumped up and down as Enter Sandman played.

The tradition of playing Enter Sandman eventually spread from the football field to the basketball courts. Now the Hokies basketball team also play the Metallica hit while entering Cassell Coliseum.

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