UVA loses a heartbreaker to Tennessee

This year's NCAA Men's Basketball Tournament has had no shortage of close finishes and today's second round match up between UVA and Tennessee proved no exception, as the Volunteers beat the Cavaliers by a score of 77-74.

In what was a constant back and forth affair, Sean Singletary sunk two free throws to bring the Cavaliers within two points at 71-69 with 21.4 seconds to go. After Tennessee sunk a pair of their own, Singletary answered with a clutch three-pointer to winnow the Volunteers' lead down to one with 11.9 seconds to go, 73-72. After a quick foul and two more free throws extended the Vols' lead to three, Tennessee quickly forced the issue by fouling Singletary with 6.3 seconds left, only allowing the 'Hoos to get within two, 75-74. The Cavs promptly fouled Tennessee guard Chris Lofton with 5.9 ticks left, and Lofton coolly sunk both free throws, putting the Vols' lead at three points, 77-74. The final shot belonged to Singletary, who missed a long three-point attempt that would have sent the game into overtime as time and the 'Hoos magical season ran out.

The Cavs end their season with a 21-11 record.



UVA beat the Great Danes, so the Hoos should be proud.

March Madness, indeed! It's March, and this news makes me very very mad.

Think about it this way: Tennessee did us a favor, in a way. If we had beat them, we'd go on to play OSU, without JR Reynolds (whose ankle swelled up hugely after that game). Even with JR, keeping pace with OSU would have been a tall order. Without him, odds are (IMO) we'd have gotten our *sses handed to us, in an embarrassing and disheartening loss. But the way things turned out, we got to leave the public stage on a relatively high note: played well, played hard, didn't give up, almost almost won at the end. We got to look great while losing, but if we had gone on to play OSU I'm afraid we would have lost and looked awful.

I'm sure the players would never tolerate this kind of silver-lining thinking because they are competitors who want to move on to the next level no matter what the risk, but as a fan, I'm glad the nation got to see us lose in such relatively flattering circumstances.

We got 'em next year, though!