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Before I shift too much into football mode, I did want to circle back and do a post looking ahead to the next Virginia basketball season as I promised at the end of my revised top 10 UVa games list. This is a post I've published in the April-June time frame for the past few years, but because of the uncertainty surrounding sports, and the fact that I was compiling and writing my various "best games attended" lists, I put it on the back-burner.

OK, so diving righ...

Last week, I revisited my 2009 column of the top 10 Virginia basketball games I had attended. As I did with my football list, I am updating the hoops list. The 2009 list covered games from the 2000-01 through 2008-09 seasons. Obviously, starting with the 2009-10 season, Tony Bennett arrived in Charlottesville, and the perspective of all Virginia b

To honor Chris Williams, aka "Big Smooth", one of my favorite Virginia Basketball players ever, I present this video that I made back in 2017, to honor Smooth's premature death.

Williams would have been 40 today. He came to my mind recently because Carson McCorkle took number 33 - to honor his father and Larry Bird. I was looking at this video and it was when I got to the end that I learned coincidentally TODAY is Smooth's birthday.

Virginia got good news today in the announcement that high-rated transfer target Trey Murphy III, a sit-1-play-2 player from Rice, chose the Hoos to continue his career. Rated as the #12 sit-out transfer by ESPN (more on that whole "sit out" thing in a bit), Murphy picked UVA over a top 4 that also included Villanova, Pitt, and Houston.

It's April, and with or without the college basketball shutdown, it's still basketball recruiting season. It's just going to look a lot different this year. Why? Well, the NCAA has banned in-person recruiting at least through the end of May. We also have no idea when (or even if) we'll see the grassroots travel circuit start up this summer; those live sessions were the critical opportunity for coaches to scout high school players. What that means is that there's a big advantage to recruit-school relationships that predate the shutdown, since now it's harder than it's ever been for coaches to discover someone new they will want to pursue, and players won't have an opportunity to get to kno...

Nothing can top the result of the 2018-19 Virginia basketball season, because it ended with a national championship. And for a while, I figured nothing would be able to top the craziness of that season either, with the way it ended with one heart-stopping thriller after another in the NCAA tournament.

But then this year happened.

For a large portion...

It is a sign of respect for Tony Bennett's coaching acumen that this year's version of UVA basketball was ever ranked in the top 5 at any point this season.  It's generally known in basketball circles that Tony could coach a team of 9-year-olds to at least a bubble resume entering ACC Tournament week, so it's not surprising they figured that losing a hoard of NBA talent wouldn't faze him one bit.  Indeed, I think there was some recognition early on that this season was going to lack anything resembling a dominant team, so the voters simply chose all the familiar names at the top of their ballots.  The Week 2 top ten: Kentucky, Duke, Michigan State, Louisville, Kansas, North...

Basketball(M)

Hooamp's Game Recap:

Cavaliers 57 Louisville 54

Neither team had made a shot in more than four minutes. The result still hung in the balance, with Virginia clinging to a 52-51 lead over Louisville with 51 seconds left.

In a flash, Kihei Clark rose up and drove a dagger through the Cardinals' hearts. The little man made another big shot.

"I can't say enough about what he's got going on inside here...

For the third time in 5 years, the Cavalier hosted the Louisville Cardinals in the final game of the regular season at the JPJ.  Virginia was playing for seniors Mamadi Diakite and Braxton Key, but also with the small hope of securing the ACC regular season title should FSU lose. Given that the Seminoles had stumbled a bit down the stretch, losing to Clemson and escaping from South Bend, it was a very real possibility.  All Virginia had to do was win.

My colleague StLouHoo wrote an amazing and moving tribute to these two great young men, and as I have done each of the last three years, I have put together some of the best moments of each of our seniors. This is a tribute to them and a humble thank you.

Thank You, Mamadi Diakite