Syracuse or UVa: Who is Governor Terry McAuliffe rooting for this weekend?

Posted at 3:34 PM, Feb 28, 2014
and last updated 2014-02-28 15:34:50-05

RICHMOND, Va. (WTVR) – Politicians should be able to answer tough questions. That may be one reason why newly-elected Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe seemed ready when we asked who he planned to root for Saturday when the #4 Syracuse University Orange visit Charlottesville to take on the #12 University of Virginia Cavaliers in basketball.

Gov. McAuliffe is a Syracuse native.

McAuliffe has been spotted at Orange games in past, sometimes with friend and former president Bill Clinton. But McAuliffe has been fairly quiet on the topic of college basketball since he was elected governor.

“I never forget my hometown,” Gov. McAuliffe said with a grin when asked about the game during an appearance at a Richmond elementary school Friday. “But I’m rooting for the University of Virginia. I have lived in Virginia longer than I lived in my hometown.”

This is not the first time college basketball has put McAuliffe in a potentially awkward spot. The Syracuse native attended Georgetown Law School. The Georgetown Hoyas were considered the main rival of Syracuse when the two squared off in Big East conference.

Now that Syracuse is a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference, McAuliffe's hometown team will match up regularly with both the Virginia Cavaliers and the Virginia Tech Hokies. At least at the UVA game, Gov. McAuliffe can attempt to please fans of both teams.

"The great news is they both have the same colors. I will have my orange tie on with the seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia," he said. "Just so nobody in my birthplace gets too upset."

The winner of Saturday's Syracuse vs. Virginia game will be in first place in the ACC. It is the only scheduled match-up between the schools, in basketball, this season. Earlier this season Syracuse defeated Virginia Tech 72-52 in Blacksburg.