Hottest Job in Town: Five weeks of rumor, speculation, and anticipation about the future of the UVA men's basketball program finally come to an end Sunday, April 17, with UVA AD Craig Littlepage's announcement that 44-year-old Dave Leitao will take over as head coach. Northeastern alum Leitao signed a four-year deal worth $925,000 per annum after completing his three-year tenure as head coach at Chicago's DePaul University. While posting a winning record each season, Leitao also led the Blue Demons to the second round of the NCAA tournament in 2004. Before becoming head coach, Leitao worked with Connecticut's Jim Calhoun from 1996-2002, and was a part of the Huskies' 1999 national championship team. ``The next time we play a basketball team, these young men will play and fight together like never before,'' Leitao was quoted by the AP.
Worst Embarrassment: The third-ranked UVA men's lacrosse team's Saturday, April 16 showdown with the second-ranked Duke Blue Devils (12-1, 3-0) was expected to be an instant classic as the two battled for the ACC regular season championship. Instead, the contest produced the most lopsided defeat since the Kennedy era as the Blue Devils controlled every aspect of the game en route to a 17-2 blowout.
The Cavs (9-2, 2-1) were able to temporarily ease the pain as they returned to Klöckner Stadium Sunday evening, April 17, to eke out a 9-6 victory over a pesky Denver squad (6-4). "This was a very, very, important game for us," coach Dom Starsia told the Progress. Now with a week off, Starsia and the Cavs look to regroup for the ACC tournament in Baltimore.
Luckiest Wizards: "It's almost like the basketball gods were looking out for us," Wizards' coach Eddie Jordan told the Washington Post after his team pulled out their third straight victory in their final regular-season home game Sunday, April 17. A lucky bounce in the final seconds against the Charlotte Bobcats (17-63) set up a game-winning lay-up that propelled the Wiz to their 29th home win of the season, one shy of the franchise record set in 1988. The MCI Center's fans also enjoyed Wednesday's triumph over the Chicago Bulls to cinch the organization's first playoff birth since 1997.
Best Homecoming: Two weeks into their first season, and the Washington Nationals (8-5) lead a division that has not seen a new champion in 15 years. (The Atlanta Braves have won the NL East 13 years in a row.) The Nats, however, dusted the Arizona Diamondbacks in a three-game sweep over the weekend to extend their winning streak to five games in front of capacity home crowds at RFK Stadium.
Worst Funk: Despite great expectations, UVA baseball still struggles to make a move in conference standings. The Cavs salvage only one of three games in a weekend series on the road against the Clemson Tigers.
The Week Ahead:
vs. Georgia Tech
Friday, April 22 & Saturday April 23 @ 7pm
Sunday, April 24 @ 1pm
It's now or never for these ballplayers as the UVA baseball team sits at 6-10 with just 12 games remaining. Adults $6, Youth/Senior $4.
UVA WOMEN'S LACROSSE
vs. William & Mary
Sunday, April 24 @ noon
Bid these seniors farewell in their final game at Klöckner. Adult $6, Youth/Senior $4.
Monday, April 25 & Tuesday April 26 @ 7:05pm
Wednesday, April 27 @ 4:35pm
No joke after all. These Nationals can play. Watch this scrappy first-place team take on another division rival. Various tickets available.
Game times and sites have yet to be determined, but at some point the Wizards will take on the Chicago Bulls in a best-of-seven series including at least two games at the MCI Center. More info from Wizards ticket office.
GET IN THE ACTION
MHS Charity Soccer Tournament
Now accepting registration from teams of five to play in a tournament 10am-2pm on April 30 to benefit Monticello's sister school in El Salvador. Call coach Rusty Carlock, 989-8069, or email rcarlock@k12.Albemarle.org.
The new coach meets the press April 17
PHOTO BY LAUREN BROOKS