NCAA

Tony Bennett turned down a pay raise because his staff needed it more

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Tony Bennett turned down a pay raise because his staff needed it more

Tony Bennett is one of the few people in sports to be offered a raise and turn it down.

Instead of adding dollars to his current contract, the Virginia men's basketball head coach would rather that money be used for other purposes. He wants additional funding, that would be used for a raise, to be given to his assistants or to help other aspects of the program. 

“I have more than I need,” Bennett said in a release. “I’m blessed beyond what I deserve.”

This past season Bennett lead the Cavaliers to their first NCAA men's basketball national championship. Rewriting UVA's history books, of course, warrants Bennett to be rewarded with a new deal and with it an increase in pay. But in a meeting with athletic director Carla Williams and university president Jim Ryan, where a "substantial raise" was discussed, he turned it down.

“This just does not happen in our industry,” Williams said in the release.

He did, however, add another year to his contract. It keeps Bennett in Charlottesville for seven more seasons.

Additional salary money for his assistants is definitely a huge boost to the program is trying to build. Every year several of the top 'Power Five' assistant coaches are the sought out targets of new head coaching candidates and lower programs. For example, Dennis Gates moved as an assistant at Florida State to the head coaching spot at Cleveland State this offseason. Year-in and year-out, a coach has to expect to deal with staff turnover.

In his 10-year tenure with the Cavaliers, Bennett has turned Virginia into national contenders. Since 2014, the Cavaliers have earned a No. 1 seed into the NCAA Tournament four times, including the past two years. They've also won two ACC tournament championships and three regular-season titles in that span.

Currently, all three of his assistants from last year's championship team are staffed for the upcoming season. His top assistant, Jason Williford, has been with Bennett ever since he took over the program.

This practice of requesting money being diverted to assistants is not new. Jim Larranaga left George Mason for Miami because of his request to pay assistants more money was declined. 

Bennett is even showing further support for the program. He has donated $500,000 toward a career-development program in place for current and former players of the program.

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Mac McClung demoralizes Syracuse with a buzzer-beating three to end the half

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Mac McClung demoralizes Syracuse with a buzzer-beating three to end the half

WASHINGTON - There is not a better way to suck the momentum away from an opponent before halftime than an emphatic run and a buzzer-beater.

Georgetown did just that to Syracuse to finish the opening half of their contest. 

An 11-0 run allowed the Hoyas to open up the score for the first time in their rivalry matchup. The Hoyas then held the Orange without a basket for over a four-minute stretch to end the half. Turnovers by Syracuse, transition baskets for Georgetown had everything going the way for the Hoyas.

Finally, the Orange's best-scorer ended the dry spell. Elijah Hughes hit a mid-range jumper to save the Orange from a heart-breaking end of the half. It was two of his 18 points in the opening 20 minutes. 

Then Mac McClung answered the bell at the horn.

Right up the court without hesitation. McClung had 21 to lead all scorers. The Hoyas were on top 48-36 on a 14-2 run. 

Since the Hoyas lost their starting point guard James Akinjo, McClung has been the answer for Georgetown. He's averaged 26 points in the two games since Akinjo announced his intention to transfer -- which included a season-high 33 against Oklahoma State.

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Daryl Dike's incredible goals leads UVA to the national championship game

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Daryl Dike's incredible goals leads UVA to the national championship game

It's never too late for a beautiful strike.

In the national semifinals between Virginia and Wake Forest, Hoos' leading scorer Daryl Dike, scored a goal for the ages. 

Dike tracked this ball perfectly and buried it past Andrew Pannenberg on his first touch.

Dike wasn't done there, stretching the lead to 2-0 with this beauty of a header:

Next up for UVA is the national championship title game Sunday, December 15th at 6 p.m., where they'll face off with Georgetown in Sahlen's Stadium at WakeMed Soccer Park.