Scott German: UVA basketball fans getting fat, happy
While in a local convenience store Wednesday evening before heading home after attending the UVA-N.C. State basketball game, I overheard two Cavalier basketball fans lamenting the fact that Virginia only won by 10 points against the Wolfpack.
I thought, You have to be kidding me, only won by 10 points? Think about that for a moment, if you will.
And that is exactly what I did upon arriving at home as I watched the final moments of the Duke-Wake Forest game. (Duke only won by eight!)
I wasn’t really thinking about the silliness of the two fans being disgusted by “only” winning by 10 points, but more about how ridiculous a fan of a particular team (myself included) can be on expectations of “their team.”
Using UVA basketball as an example. I have attended practically every home game at JPJA since there was a JPJA. I have experienced the remarkable (opening game against Arizona), the bad (the dave leitao era), the good and now the remarkably good days under Coach Bennett.
From worrying about whether or not we could even draw up a play to inbound the ball successfully, now we’re only beating another ACC team by 10.
So trying to put it all in prospective, this is how I see it. First this is Virginia basketball, not Kentucky, UNC, Duke, Kansas , UCLA, you get my point. Aside from a glorious run of four years in the early ’80s when a certain 7’4’’ superstar wore the Orange & Blue, Virginia basketball has been nothing short of ordinary. Aside from the fact they have been my team, outside of Charlottesville the Cavaliers have been just a blimp of the college basketball radar.
Heck, it was special to just look forward to playing a Duke or UNC, give ’em all they could handle, and maybe, just maybe, once in a blue moon. actually beat the McDonald’s boys.
But since Tony Bennett arrived in Charlottesville, perspectives have changed, expectations have soared, and quite possibly unrealistic expectations have been formed.
Like being disappointed after only winning an ACC game by 10 points.
This is, after all, the Atlantic Coast Conference, regarded as many as the elite college basketball conference in the nation. Top-to-bottom, year in, year out, this league is a meat grinder. A midweek trip to Clemson can be as tough of a task as the famed Cameron Indoor Stadium .
Last night against the Wolfies, there were two McDonald’s All-Americans on the floor, and guess what? Neither was wearing a Virginia uniform, but somehow a 10-point win was just so-so.
Not only has Bennett elevated the Cavaliers to a national ranking of #3, he has set the program on sail for many high-expectation seasons. Bennett’s famous Pack-Line defense is the foundation of a program built for success over the long haul, a system that doesn’t necessarily have to have high school burger boys dot the roster to be solid.
And unfortunately a system that has its fan base scoffing at “only” a 10-point conference win. Go figure.
– Column by Scott German