After writing all that stuff last week about fate, was I convinced this weekend that a Sunday 2-1 lead for the baseball team at Duke wasn't going to be enough? Damn right I was. Fortunately, I'm just a worrywart. Baseball, in its lately-traditional role of weekend-saver, made sure the whole thing wasn't a loss, and secured a series win. You'd like to sweep Duke, of course, because Duke is usually highly sweepable, but I'll take it. I'll also take an alarm clock for the bats, which have hit the snooze button on the season, but we'll just go for now with the prevailing theory that they'll heat up when the weather does. July, at this rate.
(Seriously: Brandon Downes hitting .235? Cogswell, .216? Kenny Towns, 3-for-32, which translates to .094? It's OK to be a little nervous for now.)
As for lacrosse, I didn't watch the game (the only way was to pay for the Ivy League subscription thing, so, yeah, no) and even if I had I doubt I'd be able to explain what the bloody hell. Let's just accept that this version of the lacrosse team is 1) better than last year and 2) still amazingly inexplicable, and move on. I will point out one thing: only one stat on the sheet was lopsided in any one direction - saves. We have two #1 goalie recruits in the country on this team. Just throwing that out there.
This leaves basketball as a topic of discussion. The Maryland game didn't go quite as planned, but let's just take this opportunity to point out that in UVA's two ACC losses, after 40 minutes the combined deficit was four, which was entirely accounted for by the Duke game. One OT loss and one defensive rebound away in the other one - I'll take it. Mostly because there's a banner going up anyway.
Admittedly, two games of evidence is enough for me to believe Maryland just happens to be a team that plays us tough this year, rather than there being some fluke about what happened in those matchups. Maryland and Florida State is the 8/9 matchup of teams lucky enough to draw UVA as their reward for winning on Thursday; with a combined margin of +24 against one of those teams and +2 against the other, I know which one I'd rather see.
Tournament draws aren't the only thing out today, though; ACC awards, all but Coach of the Year, were announced today. Between the coaches and the media I think the the media did a better job; the coaches put Malcolm Brogdon on the 1st team in place of the media's choice of K.J. McDaniels (the other four are the same) and even speaking as the homer of homers, that's hard to justify. The rundown of UVA's media honorees:
Malcolm Brogdon - 2nd team
Joe Harris - 3rd team
Akil Mitchell - defensive team / honorable mention
London Perrantes - rookie team
Justin Anderson - 6th man of the year
That's five honorees in six spots. The differences with the coaches (as far as we're concerned) is that the coaches nudged Brogdon and Harris each up one level and chose FSU's Ian Miller as 6th man. Not a completely wacky choice.
This means that UVA is the only school that can put together a full team from its honorees. UNC is closest with four, and I raise a very skeptical eyebrow at the selection of J.P. Tokoto to the defensive team. I think that's your Carolina Bias choice; Syracuse's Rakeem Christmas would've been a much wiser choice.
Coach of the Year is to be announced tomorrow. Ballot spoiler: all voters save one will choose Tony Bennett; certified moron Caulton Tudor will select Roy Williams, and will write an idiotic column about "early season adversity" and "unbalanced schedules" that strains the bounds of credulity much as Mae West strained the bounds of virginity.
(Random tangent: I'm watching the SoCon championship - a damn sloppy game if ever I saw one; there's apparently a reason the SoCon is KenPom's worst conference outside of the HBCU ones - and the announcers just made the case for Wiscy-Green Bay's tourney resume by saying, and I quote, "don't forget that early season win over Virginia." Emphasis very much theirs. All things being equal I'd rather not lose, but isn't it nice when each one of your losses are being referred to in that tone?)
Anyway, Tony's a lock for this thing. Jim Boeheim blew it when he couldn't figure out how to operate his coat sleeves; he was a shoo-in before that, I'm sure.
Fun fact: the next two weeks of basketball are the best two weeks the sport has to offer. Even this sloppy-ass SoCon game is fun - these low- and mid-major tournaments are a blast, particularly the championship game where everyone knows what's at stake and the emotion is running at the red line. If there's a place where the purity of the game still exists, it's probably in this not-big gym - and it is a gym despite the word "arena" in its name - with surprisingly passionate fans of tiny little schools. Ain't it nice to be active participants in the madness for once?