What can I say. Frequently this past weekend I found myself at a loss for words when it came to describing what was unfolding in front of me in the land of Virginia athletics. Truth be told, it is hard for me to type this without tearing up a little. Let's jump into it.
Tuesday, the No. 1 ranked baseball team lost to VMI 3-2, having beaten them 12-0 earlier this season. But memories of the loss would not stay for long, as the same night, the No.4 ranked men's lacrosse team demolished Mount St. Mary's behind seven goals from Mark Cockerton.
Wednesday, in what many thought could be the trappiest of trap games for the No.12 ranked men's basketball team, the Wahoos cruised to a cool 65-40 win over Miami. Malcolm Brogdon continued his double digit scoring streak in ACC play, and first year London Perrantes matched him with 15 points of his own on a perfect 5-5 night, leading to my favorite tweet of the evening:
THE BRITISH ARE COMING— George Adeosun (@realwords) February 27, 2014
The Hoos rolled from tip to finish, firing on all cylinders and proving that the 'two feet, one step' method really is fool proof. Coach Bennett's team vision has been embraced by all, and everyone has accepted their roles, and excels at them.
Was Teven doing the running man on the sideline?— Phony Bennett (@IfTonyTweeted) February 27, 2014
Yes, yes he was. On top of providing clutch minutes when called upon, Teven Jones has set the standard in celebratory dance moves.
With the win, the Hoos moved to 15-1 and Tony Bennett hit a milestone of his own.
Congratulations to Coach Bennett on his 100th win at Virginia.— Virginia Basketball (@UVAMensHoops) February 27, 2014
Saturday. What to say about Saturday. Virginia plain dominated the day.
No. 9 women's lacrosse upset No.8 ranked Penn State to start the day. Baseball defeated Monmouth 6-3. Men's tennis downed No.8 Baylor. Women's tennis took down Syracuse.
That was all before 4pm.
Virginia basketball's matchup with Syracuse was the most anticipated game ever played in John Paul Jones Arena, and the most hyped game in my time as a Wahoo fan.
The stage was set. No.4 Cuse coming to town. ACC regular season title on the line for Virginia. Often maligned and underrated Hoos out to prove themselves that they were more than an 'unbalanced schedule'. Senior night for Thomas Rogers, Akil Mitchell, and Mr. Swoon himself, Joe Harris (#swoon). Dick Vitale in the house for the first time at JPJ. No pressure, ya'll.
I am fired up baby - THIS WILL BE FUN! Heck I feel like a little kid going to my 1st game! http://t.co/7mwon2JDfG— Dick Vitale (@DickieV) March 1, 2014
I chucked a bunch of oranges into the street this morning.— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) March 1, 2014
Many predicted a close game. For about 30 minutes, those folks were right.
The game showcased our 'slow' method of play, and even converted a few who have been hesitant to 'embrace the pace'.
This is the rare slow game that I find incredibly enjoyable. So far Tony Bennett is cementing his runaway CotY campaign.— Shane Ryan (@ShaneRyanHere) March 1, 2014
Then, with about 11 minutes remaining in the second half, Virginia's depth, talent, and heart overtook the game (much as it had in most of their ACC games), and the Hoos ran away with a 19 point victory over the visiting Orange.
The win brought a title back to Charlottesville that had not been seen for 33 years, and there are so many moments that just absolutely rip your heart out as they simultaneously bring a tear to your eye.
Akil Mitchell and Joe Harris leaving the court to raucous applause and a standing ovation.
Thomas Rogers, the walk-on turned scholarship player,
making hitting draining absolutely NAILING a three with 25 seconds remaining, getting him his first points in ACC play.
This reaction to that shot from the bench:
Tony Bennett getting a tear in his eye as the seconds ticked away.
Tony Bennett telling ESPN's Jeannine Edwards post game that "...I don't deserve to be in this spot, but I'm very thankful."
Did Tony say he doesn't deserve to be here in the post game? I beg to differ sir. I beg to differ.— WahooBasketball (@WahooBasketball) March 2, 2014
Tony Bennett i sincerely thank you— Chris Long (@JOEL9ONE) March 1, 2014
This moment for the team and fans:
All in all, it was a day that no one will soon forget, and one for a coach, players, and TEAM that could not deserve it more. If you do one thing today, watch this video. I dare you not to get goosebumps or chills (or cry...which is totally ok, too).
Up next, the ACC leading Wahoos head to College Park to (hopefully) send Maryland on their merry way to the Big Ten with another loss. Game is Sunday.
While basketball obviously stole the spotlight, the No. 4 men's lacrosse team did their duty and finished the day with a huge and extremely important conference win against Syracuse in a night cap at Klöckner.
Just like the game at JPJ, the Hoos played a close game early with the visiting Orange before pulling away and cruising to a 17-12 victory. James Pannell matched last season's goal total in the game with seven goals, while Mark Cockerton kept being Canadian and put up four goals and three assists, including his 100th career goal.
All in all, it was a phenomenally successful day for Virginia.
Yesterday in Cville: 5 home events, 5 wins, 4 over top 10 teams, more than 23,000 fans! #GoHoos— Todd Goodale (@GoodaleHoos) March 2, 2014
Boylan Heights may take the cake for their shoutout on the railroad bridge on the Corner.
This is UVA pic.twitter.com/W5VhwzG3QX— Joe French (@_JoeFrench) March 2, 2014
No matter how you slice it, just sit back, relax, and enjoy. I know I will.