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Don’t bring up Duke to Tony Bennett yet, even if you’re his wife

One game at a time, y’all.

NCAA Basketball: Virginia at N.C. State
“I’m gonna need you not to ask me about Duke yet.” Tony Bennett, probably.
Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Whatever you do, don’t look ahead on the Virginia basketball schedule around Tony Bennett. No. 3 Virginia and No. 2 Duke are set to clash again on February 9th, a little under a month after the Blue Devils held on for a two-point win over the Cavaliers at Cameron Indoor in their first meeting.

Expectations and hype are already starting to build, even though Virginia still has Miami (2/2) and Duke still has St. John’s (2/2) and Boston College (2/5) to play before the two meet. The game has implications for ACC standings, national polls, and NCAA tournament seeding, but is also just a matchup of two of the best—if not the two best—teams in the country.

Don’t bring it up to Coach Bennett yet, though. He’s always had the “one step at a time” mantra in place, and that doesn’t change for anyone. After Virginia took down Boston College on the road a full 10 days before the first Duke matchup, the ESPNU commentators asked Bennett about his plan to attempt to slow down the Blue Devils. Coach Bennett deflected masterfully, saying his team had to focus on the upcoming game with Clemson first (there was also a home matchup with No. 9 Virginia Tech, too).

Even his wife, Laurel, has to abide by the rule. She took to Twitter on Tuesday to look for tickets, causing some to scratch their heads as to why the coach’s wife had to go to such lengths.

Phony Bennett asked as much, responding, “Don’t you know a guy that can hook you up?” Less than two hours later, Laurel answered the query:

That’s just...amazing.