Double Bonus: NIT

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Tony Bennett’s teams at UVa have increased in wins each season.

The Virginia men’s basketball team wrapped up its season with a disappointing 75-64 loss against Iowa in the NIT. The defeat snapped a 19-game winning streak at the John Paul Jones Arena and prevented a trip to New York for the NIT Semifinals. Still, these Cavaliers succeeded quite a bit during the 2012-2013 schedule and the “Double Bonus” kicks off with a look at a few of those accomplishments.

Let’s start with the postseason. Virginia made back-to-back postseason appearances for the first time since the 2007 NCAA Tournament and the 2008 CBI as part of a three-year stretch that included the 2006 NIT. Prior to that, you have to dig all the way back to a five-year run for Pete Gillen’s teams (2000 NIT, 2001 NCAA Tournament, 2002 NIT, 2003 NIT, 2004 NIT). This year’s UVa squad also captured consecutive postseason wins for the first time since the 2008 team won two games in the CBI. Before that, the last group of Cavaliers to claim more than one postseason victory was the 1995 NCAA Tournament team.

You have to journey back to the Jeff Jones era for one of the other feats too. This group posted back-to-back 20-win seasons for the first time since the 1992 and 1993 seasons ended with 20 and 21 victories, respectively. That was part of a five-year run with at least 20 wins for the program. Finally, UVa finished above .500 in conference play in consecutive seasons for the first time since the 2000 and 2001 campaigns each ended 9-7 under Gillen.

All in all, there are a lot of positive trends to try to build on for a team featuring just one senior.

What else happened with the NIT appearance? Let’s take a look.

Harris On Pressure

As Virginia closed out the regular season with a win over Maryland, I took a look at Joe Harris ‘ shooting numbers over the last six games of the regular season in that Double Bonus article. Over the final six games of the regular season, Harris shot 40% overall and 25% from 3-point range.