While we’re pleased that there’s going to be a tournament this year, the idea that it is back to normal continues to be ridiculous. The latest evidence of this lies with Georgia Tech and Virginia.
Georgia Tech will have to compete without its star big man Moses Wright, who is apparently (but not officially yet) out with Covid-19.
For its part, Virginia will go into a game against Ohio, with a superb guard in Jason Preston, who you will hear plenty about this weekend because he’s a great story.
The ACC has seven teams in and these two are likely to lose in Game One. That would leave Florida State, UNC, Syracuse, Virginia Tech and Clemson. So on Monday, when they start talking about winning and losing conferences, just put a mental * next to the ACC’s total because, honestly, we will never know what might have happened.
One other thing is clear right now: a lot of people around Indiana basketball think that Tony Bennett would be a swell hire for the Hoosiers and as a Midwest native, maybe he likes the idea too It’s hard to say.
But we’d be surprised, honestly.
He’s built something at Virginia that no one has ever managed to do there before.
Bennett is unquestionably a winner and would do well wherever he went,
But would he be a good fit with the Hoosiers?
To us, despite Bob Knight’s long tenure which admittedly contradicts our theory, Indiana basketball, like NC State basketball, wants to run.
Hoosier basketball should be fast. In a perfect world, which we can’t have for many reasons, the ideal coach would be Rick Pitino. First, he brings too much baggage and second, he says he’s not going anywhere.
It’s too bad because he’d light that place up like a Christmas tree.
As great as Bennett would be, his style is very much an acquired taste. Virginia has been thrilled of course, but Virginia’s expectations were quite low when he started and people forget that he’s had some crushing failures along the way. There was the Syracuse comeback in the NCAA tournament, consistently struggling with Duke and, most of all, the stunning loss to UMBC.
Can you imagine how Hoosier Nation would have reacted to a loss to UMBC? It would not have been pretty. Virginia fans were incredibly sweet about it. Heartbroken? Sure. But still sweet - and grateful for what Bennett has accomplished.
All things considered, our guess is that Bennett is very happy at Virginia, that he’s building a sustained success where no one else has been able to do it and that, in that sense, Indiana would be a real step down.
That’d be a harsh reality check for Indiana fans, but our guess it’s the truth.