Before Tony Bennett became the coach at Virginia, he was Young Tony Bennett, the back-up point guard for the Charlotte Hornets. The starting point guard was Muggsy Bogues. It was more than a position for Muggsy. It was his turf. And Muggsy was not going to give it up to the new guy. Muggsy often would dominate Bennett at practice.
Young Tony hung in, however, and became a reliable reserve. He played like the son of a coach. He was smart and worked hard almost always was in the right place at the right time. He also was unpretentious, a genuinely good guy. Nothing about him said, I'm in the NBA and you're not.
I talked to Bennett a few years ago when he coached Washington State. He hadn't changed. He still looked young, still worked hard, still was unpretentious and still was in the right place at the right time.
On Sunday, that place was Chapel Hill. Not only did the Cavaliers beat North Carolina, they made it look easy, winning 75-60.
I don't hear North Carolina fans chanting, "Bring back Matt!"
But, based on the school's pattern of sustained success, it is startling to see the Tar Heels handled so easily in their gym. Those of you who believe the Tar Heels are a lock to make the NCAA tournament are not looking at the same numbers I am.