Led by Joe Harris dropping 19 points, the Virgina Cavaliers beat Maryland last night, 61-53. The win gives Virginia their eighth straight victory. But somehow, magically even, it seems like no one is paying attention to a team with a 20-5 overall record and an impressive 11-1 in-conference marking — which is good for being second in the ACC.
But why are the Cavaliers not being talked about more?
Maybe it is because the ACC has become a maligned conference. It seems like everyone expected the league to be all that and a bag of chips, but since it hasn’t many experts have turned on the conference. And as we all know, hell have no fury like people not having their expectations met by someone else.
Sure, the league is down but just a little bit. That doesn’t mean Virginia should be discredited as a team that might be legitimately good.
Even their 17th ranking in the country seems like a slap in the face. It doesn’t mean they should be ranked as a top-five team, but there are programs who have less impressive records, wins and worse losses who are ranked ahead of them.
Is it the Joe Harris complex? Because the senior’s numbers are down the world must bellyache and think that he is no longer good, making Virginia not a good team via transitive property?
Harris’ scoring numbers are down, but that is only because he is taking three less shots per game. His field-goal percentage is actually up (granted, it’s up by one one-hundredths of a point) as is his three-point percentage. Couple that with his turnovers being down and his minutes being decreased — which is a good thing — it makes sense Harris wouldn’t need to go bonkers every single game.
A fresh Joe Harris in March is far better than a tired Joe Harris in a game against the Club State Pool Cleaners. Catch my drift?
Another reasonable explanation could be the quality of Virginia’s wins. Or, really, the lack thereof. The Cavaliers best wins are against SMU pre-apparent awesomeness, FSU twice, UNC and Pitt — only SMU and Pitt being ranked, with SMU not being ranked at the time.
To be fair, though, Virginia really has one “bad” loss. That was the 35 point drubbing they suffered at the hands of Tennessee. Outside of that, though, losing to VCU, Wisconsin, (a good) Green Bay and Duke is nothing to be ashamed of.
The rest of the Cavs’ schedule plays out in a way that could realistically result in them only losing one more game. Think about that for a second. With six more games left in the regular season, it is a very real possibility that Virginia only loses one more game. Which would give them a finished regular season record of 25-6.
Yet no one seems to care and I haven’t the slightest idea as to why. Is it because of a weird hatred for the ACC, Joe Harris not living up to but actually living up to his billing or their schedule? Because none of those things are actually good reasons.
I guess what I am trying to say is that we should probably start paying more attention to the Virginia Cavaliers. Why? Because they are really good and before you know it the bandwagon will be full.