The Virginia men's basketball team has made the Sweet 16 two out of the last three seasons, including this year (in case you've somehow missed that). Apparently, when all the articles on boring basketball and ruining the game have run their course, something - or someone - else catches the media's eye.
In 2014, as Virginia prepared for their Sweet 16 matchup with Michigan State, USA Today's Nicole Auerbach highlighted Joe Harris's ability to capture the hearts of fans nationwide.
From that piece:
Teenage girls, women and now middle-aged men are not shy in sharing their love for Harris, the Virginia senior guard with a clean-cut look and faint resemblance to Zac Efron. Harris, along with senior forward Akil Mitchell, is also one of the most important pieces of the Cavs' turnaround. He also led Virginia with 16 points on Sunday.
Harris, 22, is also tied to the hashtag #swoon.
We here at Streaking the Lawn are of course tied to that hashtag, as our very own Will Campbell started the trend back in 2011.
Oh Joe, you always know how to finish at the hoop and be awesome. #Swoon— Will C (@WillC_45) December 18, 2011
Auerbach, whom you should definitely follow on Twitter (@NicoleAuerbach), mentions how Joey Buckets doesn't really notice the attention.
Yesterday, Michelle Ruiz, a Virginia alumna, wrote a similar post for Vogue...this time highlighting Virginia coach Tony Bennett. In a tongue-in-cheek piece entitled "An Ode to UVA's Tony Bennett, the George Clooney of March Madness", Ruiz discussed how Coach Bennett has garnered the attention of fans nationwide for his classically handsome features and his courtside composure.
After a string of early upsets during March Madness, college basketball's battle royale, there isn't a single perfect bracket left in the country. But there is one perfect coach: University of Virginia's Tony Bennett, who has led the team to one of the NCAA tournament's coveted one-seed rankings and the prestigious Sweet 16 round. If there were brackets for dangerously good looks and impeccable poise, Bennett would already be cutting down the nets.
Ruiz not only had input from friends and fellow Wahoos, she even got input from ESPN's College GameDay host - and former Hokie coach - Seth Greenberg.
"Tony is comfortable in his own skin," Seth Greenberg, ESPN College GameDay basketball analyst, told Vogue.com, adding, "Jay Wright isn't going to be happy. He thinks he is the George Clooney of college basketball."
(Wright, the head coach of the Villanova Wildcats, is well known in college basketball for his sharp suits and his own chiseled jaw. However, the Wahoos beat the 'Cats this season at JPJ. Just sayin'.)
Considering commentators frequently refer to Coach Bennett as the "George Clooney of college basketball" during broadcasts and John Paul Jones sounds like a Taylor Swift concert when Coach Bennett enters the arena, this is hardly news to Virginia fans, but it is nice to have a little levity among the stress-inducing previews and the "Virginia has hope because Michigan State lost" pieces.
While Coach Bennett would probably just be horribly embarrassed, let's all just enjoy the the ride. The Cavaliers have produced yet another outstanding season (both on and off the court), and a lot more basketball remains to be played.
Have fun, everyone. It's the Swoon Sixteen.