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Men's Basketball: The hidden advantages of scheduling

Although it might be considered blasphemy to lead with Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg on a Virginia blog (Greenberg, by the way, is a former U-Va. assistant), the Hokies' coach is fond of pointing out that a big part of success in the ACC depends on “who you play, when you play and where you play.”

In other words, no two games are created equally. A team on a Saturday-Monday turnaround responds differently than a team with four days' rest. A trip from Charlottesville to Blacksburg is different than a trip from Boston to Miami. A road game is different in early January when school is out of session and students are not on campus than one at Cameron Indoor Stadium in February when the Cameron Crazies have camped out overnight.

Why is this relevant to Virginia? Because a scheduling quirk might work in the Cavaliers’ favor on Saturday at Wake Forest.

The Cavaliers originally had this week off – a basketball version of a “bye week” – although the UNC Wilmington game, snowed out in December, was rescheduled for Monday. Wake Forest has already played twice this week – once at Duke, once at North Carolina.

So Virginia will have had four days between games – and six days between ACC games – while the Demon Deacons played the two teams predicted to finish No. 1 in the ACC preseason poll on the road in the same span. This is not lost on Wake Forest Coach Dino Gaudio, who emphasized that he’s not complaining about the scheduling but that he wants to see the schedule feature “game integrity.”

“I’m not as upset about having to go to Duke, and having to go to Carolina. That’s part of it,” Gaudio said. "And it turns in our favor toward the end of year, but it shouldn’t be that way for Wake Forest, either. We play Virginia on Saturday. We played at Duke on Sunday, at Chapel Hill on Wednesday and Virginia on Saturday. And I’m fine. Now, when you look at U-Va.’s schedule, I think they played last Saturday and play us this Saturday with whatever that is, eight days in between.

“If the [rescheduled game] was not the case, then that doesn’t make sense to me that we play three games in seven days and they have eight days off. I think it happens to us when we play Carolina the next time, but it shouldn’t happen to anybody. It shouldn’t happen to anybody.”

What are your thoughts? Is this is an advantage to the Cavaliers?

By Zach Berman  |  January 21, 2010; 11:13 AM ET
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Until the last 10 days, no one's been afraid of UVA... What a whiner!!

Posted by: BwkDawg1 | January 21, 2010 11:59 AM | Report abuse

At least he acknowledged that WF has a week off late in February before they play UNC, who has a game mid-week. Many teams are having games played on Sunday night this year. If they had played on Saturday this would be a non-issue.

Yes, WF played two games on the road but they were against their neighbors along Tobacco Road. They bused over for the shoot-arounds and slept in their own beds.

UVA just had to play three games six nights whereas this will be WF's third in seven.

Go Hoos!

Posted by: golfdaddave | January 21, 2010 12:25 PM | Report abuse

Definitely an advantage for Virginia in this case, but this happens in all sports, college and professional. I always think the bye week to Thursday game to Saturday game in college football is the best deal because of the long preparation times.

Posted by: Brianwohlert | January 21, 2010 12:36 PM | Report abuse

Dino and Greenberg make great arguments. However, they refuse to publicly acknowledge the underlying cause of the problem: the unbalanced schedule due to the expansion with BC, VT & MIA from a few years ago. The ACC expanded so it could have a conference championship football game and chase the last dollar on the table. What has been the result? A decline in the overall quality of the basketball, dilution of some great historical hoops rivalries, MEDIOCRE FOOTBALL at best and LESS MONEY FOR EACH ACC SCHOOL. In hindsight, was expansion worth it?

Posted by: Cavalier1985 | January 21, 2010 12:53 PM | Report abuse

Am I missing something here? Didn't UVA played Miami on Jan 16 and UNC-Wilmington on Jan 18 and are now scheduled to play Wake Forest on Jan 23? Furthermore, why should any of the coaches in the ACC worry about UVA....they were picked to finish next-to-last in the conference. Somehow, all of these games balance out in the end. Win and win often will solve it all.

Posted by: jms3rd | January 21, 2010 4:26 PM | Report abuse

Sure it's an advantage.

But it's really silly for Gaudio to complain about it before the game -- why give your team an excuse to lose before the game even tips off?

Posted by: pbmcgrath | January 21, 2010 6:58 PM | Report abuse

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