Worst Breakdown: The Redskins (3-7) travel to Philadelphia Sunday, November 21, and with help from their stingy defense, manage to keep the high powered Eagles (9-1) at bay through the first half. But the Skins' offense, statistically the franchise's worst since the 1930s, refuses to show any life as Philly quarterback Donovan McNabb ignites to break a tight 7-6 game into a 28-6 blowout. "The best of the Eagles didn't show up," Redskins' quarterback Fred Smoot tells the AP. "Maybe they overlooked us. They weren't 22 points better, but they came to finish."
Most Resilient: The Cavaliers conquer their demons and swat the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-4, 4-4) in Atlanta for the first time in 10 years. The Wahoos capitalize on each of Tech's four turnovers to pull away for a 30-10 victory. "They [UVA] wear you down a little," GT defensive end Travis Parker admits to the AP. Despite last week's major setback, the victory keeps UVA's ACC title hopes alive to set up the much-anticipated regular season finale in Blacksburg against archrival you-know-who.
Worst postseason premier: Both the Louisa Lions and Monticello Mustangs' strong 8-2 football seasons meet the breaking point in the Region II semifinals Saturday, November 20. Jefferson District champion Louisa suffers a 42-7 trouncing at the hands of Stone Bridge, while Monticello's defense cracks in the final minute of a heartbreaking 27-24 loss to Broadway. Also despite a valiant effort, Fork Union Military Academy falls short against Collegiate, 35-28, in the private school championships.
Best Surprise: UVA men's basketball, a program which has not reached the NCAA tournament in four years, shocks the 11th-ranked Arizona Wildcats (2-1) with a convincing 78-60 triumph at University Hall, Sunday, November 21. The Cavs (2-0) were picked near the bottom of the competitive ACC conference in nearly every preseason poll, but with the help of highly touted freshman point guard Sean Singletary, UVA jumps out to a halftime lead they never relinquish. "You have nightmare games like this, and we've got one nightmare out of the way, I guess," Arizona coach Lute Olson tells the AP.
Best Breakthrough: The Washington Wizards finally win in the Garden State, a site where they have failed to claim a victory in the past five years. Their 97-86 defeat of the Nets leaves the Wizards (5-4) just two games out of first place in NBA's Southeast Division.
The Week Ahead:
UVA FOOTBALL VS. VIRGINIA TECH
Saturday, November 27 @ 1pm
This event has been circled on the calendar for the past year. While the matchup has always been known as "The Game," this year's contest brings some added flavor with a share in the conference championship at stake. Bragging rights for next year are on the line as the Hoos enter the hostile, die-hard environment of Blacksburg. Be prepared to sell your house if you're still looking to acquire this ticket– it has potential to be an instant classic for every Virginian. No matter who's side you're on.
UVA MEN'S BASKETBALL VS. RICHMOND
Sunday, November 28 @ 1pm
If you've recovered from the drama on Sunday, you may want to kick back and watch the Cavs battle another in-state rival on the hardwood. The scrappy Richmond Spiders invade Charlottesville hoping to knock off high-flying Wahoos. Various tickets still available.
WASHINGTON WIZARDS VS. NEW JERSEY NETS
Wednesday, December 1 @ 7pm
Hockey season is locked out. Baseball's homecoming suddenly looks uncertain. The Redskins are reeling. What else to do in our nation's capital besides checking out a promising young group of multimillionaires? Plenty of tickets still available at the MCI Center. Wear a hard hat.