I’m not much of a basketball fan—okay, I’m not a basketball fan at all—but I love a comeback story, and the UVA men’s team’s journey from last year’s humiliating defeat to this year’s championship is as good as it gets. You’d have to be made of stone to be unmoved by the nail-biting excitement of these last few tournament games. Even my 8-year-old, who developed a love for basketball in second grade PE and has hatched a plan to start a team in Puerto Rico (don’t ask), caught the fever watching Saturday’s matchup and begged to stay up for Monday night’s game.
My grandfather went to UVA, and he and my grandmother were avid basketball fans into their 90s. They both passed away a few years ago, and that they didn’t get to see Virginia finally win a championship is one of those moments that catches you up short. But as longtime fan (and former UVA sports blogger) Charlie Sallwasser points out, it isn’t about one game, or one season, but all the moments of connection that following a team brings you through. For Virginia fans, the euphoria will likely last for a long time.
Once it wears off, you can refer to what would have been our cover story, on the future of marijuana in Virginia, for another lift. Just kidding, we can report that the only weed that’s legal in the commonwealth—hemp flowers and CBD oil—won’t get you high (though they still might get you hassled by the cops). Change doesn’t come quick in the Old Dominion, but if November’s election brings new leadership, bills to make our state’s draconian policies on marijuana more humane might actually make it out of committee. Wahoowa! —Laura Longhine