Need a team to cheer for during the Final Four? Try Virginia

Published: Apr. 5, 2019 at 3:51 PM CDT
Email This Link
Share on Pinterest
Share on LinkedIn

Texas Tech, Virginia, Auburn, Michigan State. Four teams all vying for the biggest prize in college basketball.

None of them representing the state of Wisconsin.

So who should you, a Wisconsinite, cheer for during the rest of the NCAA tournament? You should cheer for Virginia, and here's why.

It's because of Virginia head coach Tony Bennett, and his father, legendary coach Dick Bennett. Both men have roots right here in north central Wisconsin. Dick was the head coach for the UW-Stevens Point men's basketball team for nine seasons between 1976 and 1985. The court in Quandt Fieldhouse was dedicated to the elder Bennett and his brother Jack back in 2009.

"They are, what we would call, the family of basketball in Wisconsin," UW-Stevens Point athletic director Brad Duckworth said. "They've been an amazing influence on both sides of the ball. If you talk Wisconsin basketball, you start with the Bennett family."

From there Dick became the coach at UW-Green Bay. Tony joined him as a player in 1988...and still holds the NCAA Division 1 record for career three-point field goal accuracy to this day. Dick then when on to coach at Wisconsin in 1995, with Tony joining him as an assistant four years later. Dick lead the Badgers to the Final Four in 2000. 19 years later, his son has lead to Cavaliers to their own Final Four appearance. Making them just the second father-son duo in history to coach teams to the Final Four.

"And they asked him, is this one of the greatest feelings that you've ever had, getting to the Final Four?" Tony said recently in a press conference following an Elite Eight win. "And he said this. He said 'from a feeling state, euphoria, yes it is. But it doesn't compare with faith, with kids, family, grandkids. Because I know what truly matters and it enables me to enjoy what seems to matter like this.' I've remembered that quote, and I've tried my best to live by it."

Come on, how can you not like this guy?

So if you're looking for a team to root for, why not give the Virginia Cavaliers a shot? Because let's face it, your brackets already busted anyway.