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I’ve never thought of myself as a diehard D.C. sports fan. Sure, I read The Washington Post’s Sports page almost every morning of my high school years. And I caught a game at Nats Park — or just watched a couple innings on MASN — now and then. But I didn’t care much about my hometown teams — or so I thought.
I have been trying to write this column for a long time. It’s just that now I’m putting words on paper.
Wednesday night, the NBA’s Golden State Warriors play the Memphis Grizzlies at Oracle Arena in Oakland with a record-setting 73-win season for the taking. In the spotlight all year long, Stephen Curry and his teammates might just do what no one has done before.
Over the years, I’ve made a habit of reading the Washington Post’s sports page while eating breakfast — nearly always Quaker Oatmeal Squares and toast. And lately, there’s been more and more baseball articles, because once again, it’s that time of year. Thank goodness, too, given that college hoops is finishing up.
On Sunday night at the Chicago Bulls’ TBD United Center — home of NBA stars Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler and Pau Gasol — the Virginia men’s basketball team stormed out to a 14-point halftime lead against ACC rival Syracuse in the NCAA tournament’s Midwest Regional final.
As 5:30 p.m. drew near on Selection Sunday, my roommate and I had to ask, could Virginia end up in Michigan State’s region again? After two hours of banter from Charles Barkley, Ernie Johnson and Co., we have our answer — and the answer is yes.
Well, it’s hard to believe we’re here, but here we are — the last week of ACC regular-season hoops. Starting March 8, we’ll be watching the ACC tourney, and in a couple Saturdays, we’ll crown a champ. Virginia? North Carolina? Miami? Someone else? We’ll just have to watch things play out.
Last Wednesday, I sat down with a couple of friends to watch Duke and Carolina hoop it up at the Dean Dome. My friends are from Greensboro and Charlotte, N.C., respectively, and “Duke hatred” has been a fact of their lives.
As we packed up our schoolbooks each afternoon, a fourth-grade classmate of mine used to say, “Another day, another dollar.” My teacher came to expect the phrase, sometimes joining in. And so right around 3:30 p.m., Riley — and maybe Mrs. Rachel — would say, “Another day, another dollar.”
If you’re a fan of Virginia and #GoACC basketball, you’ve got to like where we are on the calendar. The Cavaliers take on Tech Tuesday, in a month the Verizon Center hosts the ACC tourney and March Madness gets going soon after that. What’s more, we have only three weeks until The Big Game — which is to say, Virginia against North Carolina. Who’s the best team in the conference? On Feb. 27, we might just find out.
Does #GoACC basketball ever get old? Last week, Cat Barber torched Miami as NC State silenced the ’Canes, Syracuse toppled then-No. 25 Notre Dame by 15 and North Carolina fell in conference play for the first time all year, 71-65 at Louisville.
Back in the day — as in, winter 2014, when the mid-Atlantic wasn’t Sweden-lite — The Cavalier Daily published some formidable power rankings each week of the ACC men’s hoops season. But things changed — Justin Anderson moved to Dallas, Bo Ryan retired, Duke dropped three conference bouts in a row — and before we knew it, the #GoACC rankings belonged to the past.
The Virginia cross country teams competed for NCAA team crowns Saturday afternoon at EP Tom Sawyer State Park in Louisville, Ky. The No. 6 Cavalier women — hampered by injury — placed 15th of 31 teams for the second consecutive year, while the No. 15 Virginia men took 22nd.
The Virginia women’s rowing team capped its fall season in style Sunday morning on the Rivanna Reservoir, registering a pair of wins at the Rivanna Romp. The host Cavaliers — dominant at the regatta over the past decade — posted multiple standout times in both the Varsity Eights and Varsity Four races.
The Virginia women’s and men’s cross country teams raced to first and second place, respectively, Friday afternoon at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championship, advancing to next weekend’s national championships.
During the 2015 regular season, the Virginia field hockey team took on five opponents currently ranked in the top 10 of the NFHCA Coaches poll. Now, the No. 5 Cavaliers (13-4, 3-3 ACC) — who punched up a 3-2 record in those marquee matchups — enter the postseason, where the going will hardly get easier.
The Virginia volleyball team finished up a four-game home stand Friday and Saturday nights at Memorial Gymnasium, topping Wake Forest in straight sets before stumbling against Duke. The Cavaliers (15-8, 7-5 ACC) and the Blue Devils (12-10, 7-5) are now tied for fifth place in the conference standings with four weeks to go in the regular season.
The Virginia volleyball team kicked off a four-match home stand with a four-set win over Notre Dame Friday night at Memorial Gymnasium. The Cavaliers (14-7, 6-4 ACC) — who played all over the map to start the season, and rarely at home — then fell to ACC co-leader Louisville in straight sets.
Virginia senior Julia Elbaba punched her ticket to November’s ITA National Indoors Championship Monday at Liberty University’s Cook Tennis Center, steamrolling Virginia Tech sophomore Caroline Daxhelet in the ITA Atlantic Regional singles final.
Sunday in Boston, the Virginia women’s rowing team raced to a pair of top-five finishes at the Head of the Charles Regatta, its first event of the fall season. The Cavaliers’ Varsity Four boat — featuring reigning NCAA champions senior Hannah Solis-Cohen and juniors Ellen Pate and Marijane Brennan — came in fourth place in the Championship Fours, while the Virginia Varsity Eight placed third in the Championship Eights.