Virginia, Mother of NCAA Hoops Contenders

Last night, the Virginia Cavaliers put a beating on the Miami Hurricanes (coached by our old friend Jim Larranaga), by the score of 65-40.

With that victory, UVA basketball has moved to 15-1 in the Atlantic Coast Conference.  It is now atop the ACC table, with the conference tournament just a couple weeks away.  There are just a couple regular season games left:  Syracuse on Saturday and then a final contest next week against the Big Ten-bound University of Maryland.

(ed. note:  the slogan of Maryland athletics in 2014 is “From Here to Oblivion.”  The decision by UMD to leave the exciting ACC and join the dull Big Ten is the hoops equivalent of choosing Ryan Leaf, instead of Peyton Manning).

This is the best season that UVA has had since the “Greatest Generation” days of Ralph Sampson, Jeff Lamp and Othell Wilson in the early Eighties.

(ed. note:  the UVA team with Ralph in 1982-1983 won the ACC regular season and was ranked Number One most the year.  They lost to Valvano’s NC State in the ACC final.  Both of them finished ahead of North Carolina which merely had Michael Jordan and a cast of other all-stars.  Talk about glory days.  But I digress …)

Of course, UVA is a great team with a suffocating defense — but they may not be the most dangerous team coming out of Virginia (or even the best defensive team).  That could still be the VCU Rams, who play down the street here in Richmond.  And don’t count out the George Mason Patriots or Richmond Spiders, if either wins their conference tournament.

Either way, it’s a thrill to see UVA competing nationally and see them doing it in a great facility, the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, which pays homage to several decades of Cavalier basketball (men’s and women’s).

Tradition is not always a bad thing.  In fact, it’s usually good.  Anyways, watch this team in March.  They could do some serious damage.


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