There's More HOOps Week!
2014 HOOps Week
Streaking The LawnRead more of STL's coverage of 2014 HOOps Week! Tons of player profiles, team previews, prizes and more. Whether it's our charity drive, a Q&A with Phony Bennett, or a discussion on retired jerseys, there's tons to get you ready for the season!
There's More HOOps Week!
As we look forward to this coming hoops season, it's worth taking one last look back at last year's magical run. Here's one writer's opinion on the top 10 moments of the year.
1) Virginia drops Duke to win the ACC Tournament Championship: Winning an ACC title for only the second time in forty years was satisfying enough for the Virginia basketball program and its fans. But to do it by beating the reviled Dookies? That lifted championship Sunday from the satisfying to the sublime. The ESPN commentators likened the atmosphere in the Greensboro Coliseum to a heavyweight title fight. And the Wahoos and the Blue Devils threw haymakers at each other all afternoon. In the end, Virginia simply had the stronger team. Joe Harris's dagger 3-pointer will be remembered as one of the biggest shots in school history.
2) Virginia stomps Syracuse to clinch the ACC regular-season crown: The most significant home game in 30 years occurred when the Wahoos tangled with Syracuse at JPJ in early March. After a nip and tuck first half, a couple of London Perrantes three pointers launched a second-half Cavalanche. The roof almost came off when walk-on senior Thomas Rogers hit a three in the final minute. And the Virginia faithful stayed to watch the team celebrate by cutting down the nets.
3) Virginia faces off with Michigan State in the Sweet Sixteen: Although Virginia lost this one, it's hard to overstate how much this Sweet Sixteen matchup ignited the Cavalier fanbase. Alumni celebrities like Katie Couric and Chris Long traveled to Madison Square Garden to watch Virginia perform at the Mecca of basketball. Another heavyweight bout, this one went down to the wire before the Spartans ultimately prevailed. The Cavaliers and their fans were disappointed to be sure, but they also had a lot of reasons to be proud.
4) Virginia romps in Raleigh in front of throngs of Wahoo fans: One Raleigh journalist said that the crowd at the PNC Arena during Virginia's win over Memphis was better than all but one of the NC State home crowds last season. And the Wahoos didn't disappoint. Virginia manhandled Memphis from the start and Evan Nolte punctuated the win with a ridiculous one-hand dunk in the final minutes.
5) Virginia shocks Pittsburgh on Brogdon buzzer-beater: Virginia and Pittsburgh scrapped and clawed all afternoon on Super Bowl Sunday and the game came down to a final possession. With all eyes on Cavalier senior Joe Harris, Virginia went instead to Malcolm Brogdon off a (potentially busted) double curl. Brogdon nailed a three at the buzzer to win it and then celebrated like never before...admitting later that it was his first game-winning shot.
6) Virginia throttles Notre Dame; Knight and Phelps gush over Perrantes: With the Midwest buried under a winter freeze, London Perrantes and the Wahoos punked the Fighting Irish in South Bend. Old-timers Digger Phelps and Bobby Knight gushed over Perrantes's passing ability and command of the game. It was a true coming out party for the then-freshman from California.
7) Virginia hammers Heels at home: Virginia fans take special pleasure in beating the Tar Heels, and they had a lot to be happy about in Virginia's late-January win. A late run in the first half put Virginia in front for good. Discerning eyes could tell the Heels were in deep trouble when Roy Williams, pillar of the run-and-gun, was forced to move to a zone defense in the second half.
8) Anderson's blocks help Virginia surge past Maryland and Notre Dame: Virginia played surprisingly-tight home games against Maryland and Notre Dame in February. But midway through the second half, Justin Anderson was able to ignite Cavalier runs with game-changing blocks. Against the Terps, Anderson's block and save led to a Joe Harris three-pointer. Against the Irish, it led to a thunderous Anthony Gill dunk. Both plays brought the house down.
9) Clutch shooting saves Virginia against otherwise-hapless Hokies: Virginia Tech sucked eggs last year. But for 35 minutes in February, they put a huge scare into the Cavaliers in Blacksburg. Clutch three-pointers from Joe Harris and Justin Anderson saved the day, moving Virginia from a 2-point deficit to a 5-point lead.
10) Fan choice: I'm sure I missed something here, dear readers. Sound off in the comments below and let us know your favorite moments of last season. Then stick right here at Streaking the Lawn for continuing coverage as we lead you to Virginia's season-opener against JMU.