Even with this year’s UVa basketball season fast approaching, it’s time to take a look back at the best and worst moments from last season, one of the more memorable in Virginia history.
Worst shooting slump
In the ACC tournament final, North Carolina held UVa without a field goal for more than eight minutes in the second half. The Hoos missed 12 shots in a row, which opened the door for a 15-5 Tar Heel run that gave UNC their first tournament title since 2008. The Heels won, 61-57.
Best senior days
Evan Nolte’s early back-to-back threes helped set the tone, but it was Caid Kirven whose corner three blew the roof off of JPJ, as a fourth straight senior day in Charlottesville had a very happy ending.
Grayson Allen made the game-winning bucket for Duke against UVa in February at Cameron Indoor Stadium, but the referees missed an apparent travel committed by the then-sophomore guard. Regardless, the Hoos haven’t won in Durham, N.C. since 1995.
London Perrantes underwent an appendectomy before the Ohio State game, causing him to miss a win over the Buckeyes in Columbus. He joined Justin Anderson as another Hoo to have the procedure in recent years, and knowing God’s sense of humor with UVa sports, there will be another one soon.
Best Tony Bennett quote
This is purely subjective, but Bennett’s “no tiptoeing” anecdote after the Iowa State game was a touching moment to put a bow on one of the biggest UVa wins in years.
Speaking of which...
Best drought breaker
The aforementioned 84-71 win over Iowa State was the first Sweet 16 win for Virginia since 1995. A red-hot start was slowly turned back into an entertaining contest worthy of the stage, but a few late dunks proved to be the exclamation point on a monumental win for the program.
You knew this was coming.
Up by 14 with 9:47 to play, Virginia just couldn’t hang on, and fell to Syracuse in that Elite Eight game, 68-62.
It was arguably the most painful loss in UVa basketball history, but Bennett’s speech afterward helped ease a little bit of that hurt.
Best season-saving defense
Malcolm Brogdon had a lot of legendary performances over the years, but in this writer’s opinion, none was better than his defensive performance on Butler’s Andrew Chrabascz in the second round of the tournament to keep the season alive.
Worst rivalry loss
A 70-68 loss to in-state rival Virginia Tech in Blacksburg on Jan. 4 was perplexing, to say the least, and ended the Cavaliers’ seven-game winning streak in the series.
Best repeat performance
For the second straight year, a UVa student won $18,000 from State Farm by making a half-court shot.
Most exciting home game
In arguably the second-craziest game all year, a late London Perrantes three sank California after a furious Virginia rally brought the Hoos back within shouting distance in overtime.
...Not just of the season, but in all of Virginia basketball history? That’s for you to decide, but at one point, it was all but statistically impossible for UVa to pull out a win, when a loss would have threatened to knock the Cavaliers’ season off the rails.