On Tuesday night, Virginia men’s basketball took to the road and headed an hour northeast to play a road game against James Madison. As you might expect, the Dukes sold out the 8,500 seat Atlantic Union Bank Center for the game, as it was the first time that the Cavaliers had made the trip to Harrisonburg since 2014.
Of course, this leads to the obvious question for Virginia head coach Tony Bennett: Why are you doing this?
The answer? Well, Marquette and Wisconsin didn’t come to play the Phoenix in Green Bay when I was a student there playing for my dad, so I feel it’s only right for me to do the other thing going forward.
Just asked Tony Bennett why UVa agreed to come play at JMU in a sold out 8,500 seat arena.— John Freeman (@JohnFreemanUVA) December 7, 2021
He said that when he was a player at UW-Green Bay that Marquette and Wisconsin wouldn’t come play them and he thinks it’s important to travel to teams in your state. Class.
Okay, look. Tony Bennett graduated from college before I started high school, so I’m not going to try and tell you how things really worked back in the late 1980s and early 1990s. But I did go check UW-Green Bay’s official record book to make sure Bennett was right, and yes, he is. In his four years as a player at GB, neither Marquette nor Wisconsin even played the Phoenix, much less took a road game up there.
Fair play to Bennett there.
However, he has been the head coach at Virginia since the 2009-10 season. It seems only fair to check the Virginia record book to find out how many times that the Cavaliers have played a road game against one of the other 12 Division 1 programs that aren’t also in the ACC as Virginia Tech is.
Welllllllllllllll, let met tell you........
Tony Bennett is full of crap.
FIRST OF ALL, under Bennett’s guidance, Virginia has never scheduled Richmond or VMI, not even at home, not even on accident in some sort of tournament setting. So that’s two of the 12 that are straight out.
SECOND OF ALL, in the previous 12 seasons of Virginia basketball under the direction of Tony Bennett, the Cavaliers have played on the road against the other ten teams
a grand total
Tuesday night against the Dukes was the fifth.
- A 63-59 loss at George Mason on 11/9/12
- A 79-51 win at James Madison on 11/14/14, as mentioned a moment ago
- A 74-57 win at VCU on 12/6/14
- A 76-67 win at VCU on 11/17/17
AND THAT IS IT.
It’s been over four years since Tony Bennett has played a road game against a Virginia-based Division 1 program, and it’s been just over seven years since the time before that.
Tony. Tony, Tony, Tony, Tony. Buddy. Amigo.
I don’t care who you schedule or why you schedule or whatever. But you can’t be scheduling your fifth road game against an in-state D1 program in 13 seasons and first in four years and claim you’re doing it to right the wrongs directed at you and your father over 30 years ago. If you really felt a certain kind of way about this, you’d be scheduling at least one of these road games every single season, but you’re not.
Don’t drag Marquette (and Wisconsin, I guess) through the mud when you’re not actually willing to follow through on what you’re trying to present as the right way to do business.
Oh, and what was the final score of the game after Bennett gave his explanation for scheduling like this?
Oopsie. Karma is a harsh mistress, Tony.