(Editor’s note: With Virginia and Tony Bennett having earned their first Final Four bid in 35 years, we now re-publish this piece from three years ago)
Virginia Head Coach Tony Bennett has become a “rock star” college basketball coach now. Well, maybe he’s more like a “standard singer” college basketball leader given that he’s got the same name as an iconic vocalist, 89-years-young, who’s lately been teaming up with Lady Gaga.
This is the third straight year he’s led the Wahoos to a #2 seed or higher, and he keeps getting it done while the ACC consistently grows even stronger. This is his second sweet sixteen, and a win tomorrow night ends the Virginia basketball Elite 8 drought (1995). Beat the Syracuse/Gonzaga winner, and it’s UVA’s first Final Four since 1984.
I understand that this is far from the first “Tony Bennett Coach vs. Tony Bennett Singer” story ever. The more games UVA wins in March Madness, the more of these types of stories will pop up. This isn’t original; I get that. Unlike our Tottenham Hotspur vs. San Antonio Spurs challenge; that was unique.
Tony Bennett isn’t the only ultra-famous name in big time college basketball. You also have Kansas Jayhawks forward Perry Ellis, who has the same name as the famous, emblematic clothing designer. And seriously, college hoops Twitter is at its funniest when we get the “Perry Ellis has been at Kansas since the 1940s” or “Perry Ellis looks 48” jokes.
Nevertheless let’s play Tony Bennett vs Tony Bennett
Cut his Teeth by:
Singer Anthony Dominick “Tony” Benedetto- fighting in WWII
Coach Anthony Guy Bennett- North Harbour Kings, Washington State.
Singer: 19 Grammys, life time achievement award, two Emmys, selling 50 million records worldwide, Kennedy Center honoree
Coach- playing three years with the Charlotte Hornets in the NBA, two ACC regular season championships, one ACC Tournament championship, two time national coach of the year.
Edge- no contest
Singer-“I left my Heart in San Francisco”
Coach- breaking major school records at WSU and UVA
Singer- Gaga, as we mentioned before, also Count Basie Orchestra, Amy Winehouse
Coach- ACC Player of the Year and All-American Malcolm Brogdon (more on him here), and ….this one is over, sorry
Tony Bennett the Coach is elite, totally phenomenal, but this is a true rout. The crooner wins in a runaway 4-0.
Paul M. Banks runs The Sports Bank.net, partnered with FOX Sports Engage Network. and News Now. Banks, a former writer for the Washington Times, currently contributes regularly to the Chicago Tribune’s RedEye publication and Bold Global.