Did NCAA ban Enter Sandman from March Madness? Hokie Nation sing VT to victory

After the Hokie Nation proudly sang Enter Sandman at this year’s NCAA tournament, some college basketball fans wondered if the organization actually banned the Metallica song.

March Madness is finally here. The best Division I basketball teams from across the United States have been invited to compete on the court for the NCAA title.

Rumors that the NCAA banned Virginia Tech from Enter Sandman, as they usually do at home games, sparked confusion. Let’s take a look at the actual rules for this tournament.

So, does the NCAA ban Enter Sandman?

Robert Simmons/NCAA Photo via Getty Images

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

The NCAA asked Virginia Tech not to play the Metallica track because they were hosting the game as a “neutral venue.” That means it’s not considered a regular home game.

Supporters of the women’s college basketball team known as the Hokie Nation responded by singing Enter Sandman during Virginia Tech’s game against Chattanooga. They won the first round of the 2023 Women’s NCAA Tournament with a 58-33 win over Chattanooga.

NCAA schedules ‘neutral site’ game for ‘March Madness’

Neutral-court play is now commonplace in college sports. That’s despite the fact that there are plenty of college-aged fans looking to play soccer, basketball, baseball, and more at home or away. But more and more games are being played on “neutral venues,” essentially off-campus venues.

For Virginia Tech’s game against Chattanooga, the NCAA requires them to treat the field as neutral. But in reality, the game was played at the home court of the Hodges.

Enter Sandman has been used by Hokies at Virginia Tech for years

For over two decades, Virginia Tech sports teams have been using Metallica’s Enter Sandman. The song was first used by a football team on August 27, 2000. The song was released nine years ago in 1991.

On December 1, 2001, Hokie Nation began a new tradition. A member of the college marching band started jumping up and down, prompting his bandmates to follow suit. By December 1, 2001, the tradition was cemented as the students jumped up and down as Enter Sandman played.

The tradition of playing Enter Sandman eventually spread from football to basketball. Now the Hokies basketball team also plays Metallica hits as they enter the Cassell Arena.

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