Chris Graham: Another high-profile fade for Bennett’s Cavs

uva-logo-new2Well, here we go again. Virginia’s 53-51 loss at Florida State makes it four losses in the last six for the Cavs, who last week played their way off the bubble with a win over #3 Duke, and in a span of five days after the big win have played their way right back on it.

Is this another in the way of high-profile fades for fourth-year coach Tony Bennett’s ‘Hoos? Let’s take a look at the record books.

  • 2011-2012: Virginia is 4-7 in its final 11 games after an 18-3 start, with four losses in its final five, including one-and-done performances in the ACC and NCAA tournaments.
  • 2010-2011: A mediocre 16-15 season ends with a mediocre 4-4 finish, including a classic meltdown against Miami in the ACC Tournament, in which UVa. blew a 10-point lead in the final 40 seconds of regulation before falling in overtime.
  • 2009-2010: Bennett’s first team comes out of the gate hot, but a 1-10 finish dooms the Cavs to a 15-16 final record.

People forget that the 2009-2010 Virginia team had seemed for a brief time to be on its way to an NCAA berth at 14-6 overall and 5-2 in the ACC.

And then there was last year’s team, which flamed out early and was a nonfactor in the postseason.

A win at home against Maryland in their season finale would put Virginia at 3-4 in its last seven regular-season games, a stretch that will likely see the Cavs fall from a first-round bye in next week’s ACC Tournament to having to scrap for its postseason life in Thursday’s opening round to set up a Friday quarterfinal against N.C. State that would for all intents and purposes be an NCAA Tournament play-in game.

A loss on Sunday pushes UVa. to the brink of elimination from NCAA consideration.

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