Inside the Numbers: Is it really ugly if it’s a W?

UVA basketballFive times this season, Virginia hasn’t hit 50 in a game. Virginia is 4-1 in these games.

The 46-44 win at Miami Wednesday night may have been the oddest of that slate of odd games in an odd season.

For starters, Jay Huff, opening the game shooting 7-of-9, three of the makes threes, putting up 17 points in the first 17 minutes.

He was, at that stage, outscoring his mates 17-0, and outscoring Miami 17-15.

You’re thinking, Jay needs to score 50, so that, you know, Virginia can score 50, and get the W.

And then: he doesn’t score again.

Missed his last seven shots.

Mamadi Diakite took over from there. After starting the game 0-of-4 from the floor, he made six of his last nine shots, to finish with 14.

You know, you put them together, and you have a guy scoring 31 on 13-of-18 shooting, which, not bad.

Or, you put them together, and they had zero, on 0-of-11.

(Huff missed his last seven shots.)

Anemic would be generous

Forty-six points on 58 possessions, .793 points per.

Surprisingly, that’s not the lowest points per possession in a UVA win this year.

Virginia scored 50 on 64 possessions in the OT win over Notre Dame back on Feb. 11, which works out to .781 points per.

Playing from ahead

According to the stats from Sidearm, Virginia led for 70.5 percent of the game, Miami for 6.8 percent.

The biggest lead, though: just six, when Virginia led 24-18 with 1:10 to go in the first half.

Miami would respond with a 10-2 run over the next 4:49 to get its biggest lead, which was two, at 28-26, with 16:21 to go in the game.

Another tight one.

Three or less

Speaking of Feb. 11, from a couple of subheads ago, that one was the start of the recent seven-game winning streak.

Six of those wins: by three points or less.

Virginia is 8-1 this season in such games.

Looking back, the 2019-2020 ‘Hoos were 2-1 in games decided by three or less, the 2017-2018 team was 1-1.

All told, prior to this season, Bennett’s teams at UVA were an aggregate 19-27 over 10 seasons in games decided by three or less, with the most wins of that type in any one season being three, which was accomplished three times (2010-2011, 2011-2012 and 2013-2014).

Of note, when combing through the numbers, that 2011-2012 team, Bennett’s first at UVA to get an NCAA bid, finished 22-10, but was 3-7 in games decided by three or less.

His current team is 22-7, and the aforementioned 8-1 in games decided by three or less.

I guess that means that 2011-2012 team was better, but just not gritty enough.

This team doesn’t have much, but there’s plenty of Big Grit Energy coming out of that locker room.

Story by Chris Graham

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