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Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Jim Boeheim fiercely defends Tony Bennett after Virginia loss

Jim Boeheim

Syracuse coach Jim Boeheim is not having the criticism of Virginia’s Tony Bennett.

Bennett continued what has become a disappointing tournament record by losing to 16th-seeded UMBC in the first round on Friday night, leading to a heavy barrage of criticism directed at Bennett’s record and style of basketball. Boeheim wasn’t having that, offering an extended monologue about how Bennett is one of the best coaches in America with an incredible record of regular season success in one of the nation’s most difficult conferences despite a lack of top recruiting classes.

It’s hard to assess Bennett. His teams have been outstanding in the regular season, lost just two games in a tough ACC this season, and Bennett handles himself with great poise. That said, they’ve still never made a Final Four despite being a top seed three times in the last six seasons. Teams who pass and shoot well can beat Virginia, but that doesn’t make Bennett a bad coach. He just has a lot of questions to answer in the postseason.

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