Best Surprise: The UVA men's basketball team suddenly rises from the dead to capture an improbable 64-62 road victory over the N.C. State Wolfpack (13-9, 3-6) Saturday, February 5. Following another embarrassing road loss– a 98-79 blowout to the Providence Friars (10-11, 1-7 in the Big East)– Wednesday night, it appeared as though the Cavs were headed for a sixth consecutive loss in Raleigh. Instead, the Wahoos suddenly came to life to build an 11-point halftime advantage, which evaporated in seemingly typical Cavalier fashion down the stretch.
Freshman sensation Sean Singletary came to the rescue in the game's waning moments when he followed his own missed shot to grab a rebound and score the game-winning put-back basket with just over two seconds remaining. After the Wolfpack's desperation buzzer-beating attempt fell short, the Cavalier bench erupted to rush the floor and celebrate arguably the biggest victory of the season.
"I'm very proud of our team," UVA coach Pete Gillen told the AP. "We played with courage against a very good team in their own building. "We played with tenacity and toughness."
Messiest District: Only a statistics major could make any sense of the cluttered race for the Jefferson district boys basketball title. With only one week of Central Virginia action remaining and four teams in contention for one title, the table is set for a thrilling finish. (If you're wondering about the girls' side, the CHS Black Knights ran away with that title ages ago.)
CHS (11-7, 8-2), Fluvanna (15-3, 7-2), Orange (13-7, 7-3), and Western Albemarle (12-9, 7-3) will all be knocking heads to determine who gains the top spot's automatic bid to the regional playoffs.
To further complicate matters, the Monticello Mustangs (6-12, 4-5) have suddenly emerged to win two straight games: after upsetting WAHS Tuesday, February 1, MHS appears to be a very dangerous team heading into the district tournament.
Best Dynamic Duo: The AHS boys' and girls' squads both continue to pile up victories in Commonwealth District play, leaving the Patriot boys (16-4, 8-3) one victory away from claiming their third district title in four years, pending a senior night victory against Brooke Point Tuesday, February 8. AHS reclaimed the district lead with a dramatic 68-67 road victory over the Culpeper Blue Devils (12-5, 7-3) February 1, then followed suit at home with a 70-67 triumph over the Eagles of Colonial Forge (6-11, 5-4) on February 4.
The Lady Patriots (14-6, 9-2), meanwhile, have posted a stellar regular season campaign, cruising through the week with wins over Culpeper and Colonial Forge. The AHS girls will likely head into next week's district tournament as the No. 2 seed looking to knock off powerhouse Brooke Point.
Worst Roadblock: Just when it seemed the UVA women's basketball team could do no wrong, the Lady Cavs squandered a 16-point second half lead to suffer a heartbreaking 62-56 loss at N.C. State, Thursday, February 3. But the Wahoos (16-7, 5-4) appeared rejuvenated at U-Hall Monday night, jumping to a 12-point lead over a high-powered North Carolina squad (19-3, 7-2). Unfortunately, UVA collapsed in a second straight game as UNC exploded on 17-0, and 11-0 runs to crush the Cavs 76-56.
The Week Ahead:
UVA WOMEN'S BAKSETBALL
vs. MIAMI (11-11, 3-5)
Thursday, February 10 @ 7pm
@ VIRGINIA TECH (14-7, 3-4)
Sunday, February 13 @ 2pm
Ladies hope to get back on track in ACC play. Adults $6, Youth $4.
vs. LA CLIPPERS (23-24)
Friday, February 11 @ 7pm
The last of a three-game Wizards home stand. Various tickets available at the MCI Center.
UVA MEN'S BASKETBALL
vs. VIRGINIA TECH (12-8, 5-4)
Saturday, February 12 @ Noon
Cavs seek much-needed revenge at home. Sold out.