When you're talking about a 49-point victory, as we are in the case of Virginia's utter dismantling of Harvard Sunday afternoon, a lot of things might rightly be classified as "impressive." An abridged list:
Before Sunday, Harvard forward Wesley Saunders was averaging 20.1 points, 7 rebounds, 4.5 assists and 2.8 steals per game, and doing so with a combination of high usage and high efficiency reserved for the Jahlil Okafors and Frank Kaminskys of the world. On Sunday, Saunders finished with 4 points on 0-7 from the field with one steal, one rebound, and three turnovers.
Harvard's five starters combined to make one -- just one -- field goal.
Harvard made eight field goals in the entire game.
Harvard's first-half field goal -- again, singular -- ties the all-time first-half low set by Savannah State and Northern Illinois (against Kansas State in 2008 and Eastern Michigan in 2013, respectively).
The Crimson scored eight points in the first half, and just 19 in the second.
This is not your father's Harvard. This is a Harvard coming off three straight NCAA tournament appearances, a Harvard that upended Cincinnati last March, a Harvard playing top-25-level defense and hovering in around adjusted efficiency top 40.
And no, none of those things is the most impressive part of Virginia's win -- though the latter three hint at it.
On Sunday, Virginia played all 15 of its rostered players. Five of its reserves played more than 12 minutes. And, over 40 minutes, the Cavaliers still managed to accomplish all of the things you read above. This was a blowout, yes, and Harvard emptied its bench to a large degree, too.
Still, UVa coach Tony Bennett doesn't typically have a deep rotation. This isn't Kentucky, where "emptying the bench in a blowout" means throwing another five brilliant future pros on the floor. Usually, games like this, played between teams of this world, regress to the mean in the second half -- if not because of the overall skill levels, than at least because the deep-bench reserves can't maintain the pace.
Instead, Virginia finished the game shooting 60 percent. Its defense never let up. Things just kept getting worse. Of all of the eye-popping factoids available after a 76-27 win, that has to be the most insane, right?