Just bullets this week. I didn't bother springing for a weekend's worth of Wake Forest's version of Cavaliers Live so I saw no baseball. I'm not even sure if I'll spring for Cavaliers Live itself next year - the production was so utterly amateurish this year that paying $6.95 a month feels like a huge rip-off. Why pay money to people who can't even be bothered to fix a camera that shakes unstoppably? But I digress.
-- Baseball just missed the chance to go through the whole season never losing a series, dropping the rubber game against Wake Forest. Bummer. And it knocked the Hoos off their #1 ranking perch. That cements us as the 3 seed in the ACC tournament - and for the record, no 3 seed has ever made the championship game since round-robin pool play began. (Yes, it's still pool-play instead of the double-elimination they trumpeted - I guess they were too embarrassed to put out a release about the backtrack.) UVA plays Maryland, UNC or NC State, and then Florida State. No, there is no Virginia Tech. Just puttin' that out there.
-- The ACC announced its all-conference teams, and the list of Hoos is extremely long. Nate Kirby is co-pitcher of the year, and joining him on the first team are Brandon Cogswell, Nick Howard, Joe McCarthy, and Mike Papi. Nate Irvin, Brandon Waddell, and Daniel Pinero are third team. But the most interesting of all, I think, is Brian O'Connor's stranglehold on Coach of the Year. Four times now in the last five seasons. Impressive.
-- Tack on another ACC championship for the rowing team, their fifth in a row. Swept all four races. They aren't the favorite for the national title, but hey, you never know, and regardless they'll score a pile of Director's Cup points.
-- Speaking of NCAA titles, two of three UVA teams survived the weekend. Women's tennis bowed out in the quarterfinals, but men's tennis is in the semis against top-seeded USC - always a tough team to beat - and women's lax upset 3rd-seeded UNC (woo) to get to the Final Four against 2-seed Syracuse.
-- Probably the most newsworthy event out of Amelia Island last week, besides that already covered last Monday, is the 30-second shot clock experiment that the conference will try. I have mixed feelings on that. On the plus side, people assume that a faster-paced game is bad for slowball teams like UVA, but it's really just the opposite. If it's so hard to score on UVA in 35 seconds, it'll be even harder in 30. But - the best thing about the college game is that it's different from the NBA game. That sounds like damnation with faint praise, but it's not. The shorter the shot clock, the greater the homogenization of styles, and it's that clash of styles that makes the college game so interesting.
-- Former swim & dive head coach Mark Bernardino is no longer unemployed, having found a job as "associate head coach" at South Carolina. USC-e is a bottom-of-the-barrel program in the SEC and should stand to benefit quite a bit from the presence of such an accomplished coach. Getting a job is a funny thing to do for a guy who retired; it lends credence to the folks insisting it wasn't his idea to leave.