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Jim Boeheim empathizes with Tony Bennett, praises Virginia coach after UMBC loss

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Hall of Famer says Bennett is one of the best coaches in the country

NCAA Basketball: NCAA Tournament-Detroit Practice Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Virginia’s loss to UMBC in the opening round of the NCAA tournament was shocking and unexpected. Heartbreaking and historic. Whatever words you want to pick, go ahead and fill them in. The loss has added fuel to the “Bennett’s system can’t work in the post season” fire, despite the fact that the same system propelled the Cavaliers to a 31-3 overall record (17-1 ACC) and the regular season and ACC tournament titles this season.

Well, Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim had some thoughts on that criticism before his Syracuse squad faces Michigan State today in the second round.

One reporter asked Boeheim what he would tell people that say they would “rather have had a 15-16 season than to have what Virginia had.”

He did not mince words.

“That group of people, if there really is a group like that, probably are unemployed or idiots.” Boeheim stated. “Or, they’re really, really smart lawyers and doctors that think they know everything and really, in reality, probably know what they’re doing and know nothing else.”

Boeheim talked about Coach Bennett’s ability to beat the likes of Duke and North Carolina with recruits that are unheralded, and how one game tournaments can be cruel.

Since joining the ACC, Boeheim and the Orange are 2-5 against Bennett and the Cavaliers, with Virginia taking both matchups this season.

“Tony Bennett is in my top two or three coaches in the country by far,” Boeheim said. “If I could hire a coach in this country and I could get Tony Bennett, there would be nobody in second place. Nobody. He’s kicked our ass every time we’ve played him except we got lucky once.”

Check out his full comments below: