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Wednesday, May 8, 2013
These reunions of Virginia men's basketball coach Tony Bennett and his one-time boss, Bo Ryan, are starting to take on the look of an annual affair.
When pairings for the 2013 ACC/Big Ten Challenge were announced Wednesday, UVa found itself matched with Wisconsin for a second straight year.
The Cavaliers won at Wisconsin last year, 60-54, in what ranked as their biggest road win of the year.
Bennett played for his father, Dick, at Wisconsin-Green Bay. Dick Bennett subsequently became the head coach at Wisconsin, where Tony served as an assistant after playing professionally.
The Cavaliers and Badgers, who will meet in Charlottesville on Dec. 4, were pitted against each other because of their comparable prospects for the 2013-14 season.
With the ACC set to add Notre Dame, Syracuse and Pittsburgh, a 12-game format means that the three ACC teams with the lowest RPIs - Wake Forest (No. 171), Virginia Tech (No. 176) and Clemson (No. 187) - will not be participating.
Marquee matchups include Indiana-Syracuse, Michigan-Duke and North Carolina-Michigan State.
Man in demand
Virginia was among the schools that inquired about Big South Conference all-freshman selection Michael Kessens, who has decided to transfer to Alabama after receiving a release from Longwood.
Kessens, a 6-foot-9, 205-pound native of Switzerland, is a former member of the French Under-21 team who averaged 13.7 points and a team-high 8.8 rebounds for the Lancers (8-25) this past season.
Kessens' departure coincided with the departure of head coach Mike Gillian. Gillian previously worked for Miami coach Jim Larranaga at Bowling Green and George Mason but Longwood may have blocked a possible switch to the Hurricanes.
Former Cleveland State assistant Jayson Gee is the new head coach at Longwood, which currently is listing seven players on its 2013-2014 roster, not including five signees.
Finding a home
Hunter Steward, the highest-grading offensive lineman for Liberty University last season, was selected with the No. 6 pick in the first round of the Canadian Football League draft. He is expected to join the BC Lions after the completion of the 2013 college season.
Steward, who spent his senior year of high school at Kellam in Virginia Beach, signed with UVa but did not play for the Cavaliers before transferring to Liberty after two seasons. He was a backup defensive lineman for the Flames in 2011 before moving to offense last year.
James Madison softball player Jailyn Ford, a freshman from Bath County, was named rookie of the year in the
Colonial Athletic Association and also made first-team all-conference at pitcher and first base.
Ford had a 21-4 record and a 1.65 earned-run average in 26 starts. She also batted .392, with 43 RBI.
Virginia Tech senior left-hander Joe Mantiply is the only pitcher in college baseball with victories over two top-five teams, then-No. 4 Florida State and No. 5 Virginia. ... UVa's next victory will mark Brian O'Connor's eighth 40-win seasons in 10 seasons as head coach. In the other two seasons, the Cavaliers won 39.
Former Virginia standout Mike Scott, dispatched to the D-League Bakersfield (Calif.) Jam on Dec. 1, was recalled by the Atlanta Hawks on Dec. 12 and ended up playing 40 games.
Scott highlights included a 23-point, 14-rebound game against the New York Knicks at Madison Square Garden, one of four straight double-figure games during one stretch.
Republican Mark Sanford, elected to the House of Representatives in South Carolina's 1st Congressional District, was first opposed by ex-Roanoker Martin Skelly, a standout basketball player at Patrick Henry High School who played collegiately at Harvard.
Skelly, a Charleston, S.C., businessman, dropped out of the race after another Democratic candidate, Elizabeth Colbert Busch, came forward, She's the sister of Comedy Central network personality Stephen Colbert.
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