Best Clutch Performance: The Washington Wizards continued their Cinderella NBA season by rallying from a 2-0 series deficit to win the next four games and defeat the Chicago Bulls in the Eastern Conference quarterfinals. But with the series even at two games each, the Wiz appeared to self-destruct after the Bulls rallied from a 22-point deficit to tie the game with five seconds remaining. Washington's All-star guard Gilbert Arenas silenced a rowdy Chicago crowd with a buzzer-beating 15-foot jumper.
The drama continued two nights later as the Wiz struggled to close out the never-say-die Bulls at home. Chicago led late into the fourth quarter, but the Wizards again made the big plays down the stretch to pull off a 94-91 win Friday, May 6 to complete their first playoff series triumph since 1982.
The Wiz quickly returned to action Sunday, May 8 to open their conference semifinal best-of-seven series on the road against the top-seeded Miami Heat, but the magic finally ran out as Miami's offensive firepower broke open a tight game in the second half en route to a 105-86 blowout.
"We have a locker room full of guys who love challenge," Arenas told the AP following the sudden setback. "We've been down. We don't feel like we're out. We feel like we can win a basketball game on any given day we step out there."
Most Underrated UVA Sports Program: With playing fields quiet and students cramming for exams, a fresh group of Cavalier athletes suddenly enters the spotlight. In only their second year of existence, the UVA women's golf team qualifies for the NCAA championship playoffs with a fifth-place finish in the East Regional tournament in Gainesville, Florida, Saturday, May 7. These determined golfers are not only a force on the course; they also hold the highest team grade point average at UVA. "I think golf is definitely on the rise at Virginia, and I think more people will be following us now," Cavalier coach Jan Mann told The Daily Progress.
Best West Coast Trip: Ten full days on America's left coast often dismantle ball clubs, yet the Washington Nationals (18-14) continue to defy expectations a full six weeks into the season. The Nats win two of three games over both the Los Angeles Dodgers (19-12) and San Francisco Giants (16-15) and then extend their win streak to four over the Arizona Diamondbacks (18-15) with a hard fought 4-3 victory in Phoenix, Monday, May 9.
The Week Ahead:
NCAA LACROSSE TOURNAMENT
UVA men vs. Albany (10-5)
Saturday, May 14 @ 8pm
Win or go home. After missing the tournament for the first time in 12 years last season, Coach Dom Starsia will have the Hoos ready for battle as the team returns for another national championship run. Tickets $6 Adults, $4 Youth/Senior at the gate an hour before face-off. UVA ticket office encourages fans to pre-order to avoid long lines.
UVA women's vs. Johns Hopkins (11-5)
Thursday, May 12. site & time TBA
While not the pre-tournament favorites, the lady Wahoos are the defending champions until someone knocks them off.
vs. Miami (33-11, 17-6)
Friday, May 13, Saturday May 14 @ 7pm
Sunday, May 15 @ noon
With the postseason looming, the Cavaliers welcome the powerful Hurricanes to Charlottesville. Tickets $6 Adults, $4 Senior/Youth.
NATIONALS HOME STAND
vs. Chicago Cubs (13-18)
Friday, May 13, Saturday, May 14 @ 7:05pm
Sunday, May 15 @ 1:05pm
vs. Milwaukee Brewers (15-15)
Monday, May 16, Wednesday, May 18 @ 7:05pm
Thursday, May 19 @ 1:05pm
Nats return home after a successful road trip. Various tickets available.