Of course it does.  That was a rhetorical question.

While most of Cavalier Nation is expecting a come-down year what with the loss of The Big Three, I am convinced that we are bringing back the most important piece of that team: Tony Bennett.


Mamadi Diakite's return is important.  No doubt about it.  And here is a very nice look at the impact that Diakite had on the floor last year:  Previewing Diakite's Role Next Year

But it will come down to Bennett:  Tony just wins.

In the seven seasons in the ACC (to include Maryland's last season and the first seasons with Syracuse and Louisville), or what StLouHoo calls the peak Tony era, there have been only seven seasons where an ACC team has logged a 15-3 or better record in the regular season.  7.  Virginia has four of them, and of those four, all of them have been better than 15-3.  Only UNC, and this was just last year, has compiled a record of 16-2 in the ACC.

In those same seven years, Duke has a single season of 15-3, UNC has that single season of 16-2 and Miami has a season of 15-3.

That's it.  Each year Duke is going to lose to a BC and UNC is going to lose to a Clemson.  Games we simply don't lose in the peak-Bennett era.

I've heard lots of hopeful predictions about our season next year, one which sees the ACC slate increase from 18 to 20 games.  Most center around a 14 - 6 record, which seems like a reasonable guess at this stage of the game.  That's pretty equivalent to a 13-5 regular season record.  But over the last seven years, that 14-6 record would be the (tied for) 18th best record in the ACC.

14-6, again, over the past 7 years, would get you one outright 2nd place finish, three tied for 2nd place finishes, two 3rd place finishes, an outright 4th place finish and one tied for 4th place finish.

Going 14-6 is pretty damn hard in the ACC.  Except for Bennett.