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What Georgia soccer can learn from Virginia basketball
During the last few years, Virginia basketball became known for two things. Dominating the regular season and climbing little when it matters most.
Season, after the season, the Cavaliers lost in the NCAA tournament as a top seed. Everything culminated in 2018, when Virginia became the first No. 1 seed to lose against a No. 16 seed.
In recent seasons, Georgia has shared a similar pain. It came as close as possible to winning a national title in 2017, before falling short against Alabama. Note the painfully closed defeats in '12 and again '18 to Alabama, and it's easy to see the similarities between the two.
Related: Georgia soccer coach Kirby Smart sends a message with action, not words
Of course, Virginia recovered on Monday night as she beat Texas Tech 85-77 to win the first national basketball championship program.
Throughout the year, Virginia had to listen to how she lost 16 crops. Our defensive-oriented style of play was not good enough to win a national title. How an offense that could be clbadified as slow and game-handling was not enough to win in the NCAA tournament.
These are things that Virginia has heard all year. It is also similar to what Georgia has had to face in recent years.
But Tony Bennett and Virginia did not flinch. The Cavaliers still played at the same slow pace in offense this year, the slowest in the whole country. It also happened that this year he also had the second most efficient offense in the country. The defense was still excellent, since Virginia once again ranked in the top 5 in defensive efficiency.
It also helps that Virginia was led by two high clbad guards in Kyle Guy and Ty Jerome, along with a selection of the top 5 in Deandre Hunter. The trio combined for 67 points, with Hunter hitting the shot that sent the title game to overtime.
– Report bleach (@BleacherReport) April 9, 2019
Sometimes you need rebounds, calls and plays to follow your path. The Cavaliers had that in spades in the NCAA tournament. In each of her last three games, Virginia stayed behind in the final 15 seconds of the game. And somehow, Virginia won all three games, beating Purdue and Texas Tech in overtime, and ending the Auburn game in regulation.
Virginia never gave up who she was and that paid off Monday night. Georgian football should continue to do the same.
As much as fans want to see Georgia's offense aired, or become a team that fights all the time, Georgia should not drastically change its core. Running the ball and a conservative defense have made the team close to the possibility of winning a national title.
Some call to do the same thing over and over again and expect different results of insanity. When Virginia fell by two digits in the opening game of the tournament against 16 seeded Gardner Webb, it looked like the Cavaliers were doomed again. But Virginia stayed with what she does best and took a double-digit victory.
Doing the same thing over and over again, persistence as some call it, led Virginia to a title. If Georgia continues to build on what it has already done with Kirby Smart, it will find itself in a similar position. You just need a few bounces, or correct internal calls, to follow your path.
Virginia was the best team in college basketball this season, and on Monday he was crowned champion for his efforts. If Georgia is still Georgia, it can become a champion in college football.
Also, I shouted to my cousin Brian, who was in Minneapolis to see his alma mater win the national title. I hope all the fans have the experience of what he got last night.
Joe Lunardi breaks bombs in Georgia basketball
Focusing on the Georgia basketball team, next season promises to be a better one for the Bulldogs. Georgia is scheduled to bring one of the nation's No. 7 recruiting clbades in the country. The group, which has four players among the top 100, is led by Anthony Edwards, the country's No. 2 player.
Related: Anthony "Antman" Edwards: "Stop sleeping in Georgia"
Georgia is ready to bring back key partners at Jordan Harris, Tyree Crump and Rayshaun Hammonds. Factor in Nicolas Claxton, who has not yet announced his intentions for the NBA draft, and Georgia could have a very strong team.
– Tom Crean (@TomCrean) April 8, 2019
But it pumps the breaks for now in an NCAA tournament team, according to Joe Lunardi of ESPN.
The resident bracketologist did not have Georgia in his 68 field for the 2019-20 season, nor were the Bulldogs among the first four of the tournament.
Lunardi points to six SEC teams to make the NCAA tournament next year, with Auburn and Kentucky both ranked as the No. 2 seed. Tennessee, Florida, Ole Miss and the state of Mississippi where the other four teams are.
Georgia will have the opportunity to choose some victories unrelated to the conference, as it will take place at the Maui Jim Maui Invitational. Players from Kansas, Michigan State and UCLA will play in the tournament.
It will be the second season of Tom Crean in charge in Georgia. If Edwards, who is projected as a possible No. 1 overall, lives up to expectations, Georgia's basketball might surprise some people.
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– Mark Titus (@clubtrillion) April 9, 2019