Boy did Virginia let us down. What we’ve always said about Tony Bennett’s team we can sum up in a few bullet points.
- The defense is far more demanding and physical than it looks on TV and they keep it on you and it weakens legs.
- In a low-scoring, tight game therefore, Virginia almost always has the advantage.
- And in a game like that, most opponents to some extent lose their composure.
- And we always say that Virginia is deadly in winning time. Nobody plays as well in the last :90 seconds than Virginia.
So thanks a lot, Kihei. Thanks for that.
Kihei Clark has been one of our favorite ACC players since he arrived at Virginia and he is more responsible for Virginia’s national title than almost anyone else because Purdue had them and his pass saved them.
So what happened was baffling: Clark was trapped with 8.9 seconds left and, rather than call timeout, just threw the ball as far as he could.
Unfortunately Furman’s Garrett Hien intercepted it in the backcourt and got it to JP Pegues, who hit a three with 2.2 left.
It was a sad end to Clark’s career, but that’s what this tournament does. Next time it could happen to Furman.
Which is why we watch.