Phoenix fans will remember the embrace… March 5, 1991. Father and son. All-star and head coach. Tony and Dick Bennett. When the final buzzer had sounded, the Phoenix had taken down Northern Illinois, 56-39, in the Mid-Continent Conference Tournament Championship, to win its first-ever trip to the Big Dance. While the frenzied, standing-room only crowd rushed the court to celebrate the home team, father and son could be found in an embrace that Phoenix fans have not forgotten despite the passing of 29 years. And it came flooding back to life this week, when Dick and Tony sought each other out once again — in celebration of an even bigger moment — Tony had just led his University of Virginia Cavaliers to a Final Four appearance for the first time in 35 years. Nope, it wasn’t the Phoenix we were cheering for this time. Or was it? Congratulations Tony and Dick Bennett. Green Bay is rooting for you.
Tony Bennett’s Virginia Cavaliers (often nicknamed the “hoos”) play at 5 p.m. Saturday against Auburn University in the NCAA Final Four. See more historical photos in this University Archives Facebook post.
2019 NCAA March Madness Video Tweet