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Regular MileValue readers: ignore this post. It’s about college basketball, not miles.
UVA fans: ignore this blog. It’s about traveling free (in first class if you want) by efficiently collecting and redeeming frequent flyer miles, hotel points, and credit card points. If you don’t want to ignore that, start here.

Series So Far

Game 4, 72-62 Win vs. Sant Julia All Stars

Game 5, 85-49 Win vs. Sant Julia All Stars

These games were an hour by commuter train plus another 10 minutes by car out of Barcelona is a small Catalan town. Vic, where I stayed, and Sant Julia, where the game was played, are the only places in Spain I’ve been where Spanish is not the dominant language.

Sure Valencia and Barcelona push Valenciano and Catalan (the same language under two names) publicly, but I mainly hear Spanish on the streets. In these towns, people speak Catalan almost exclusively in their daily lives.

Sant Julia, a tiny dot of a town would seem an odd place for the Hoos to play, but the town hosts an annual basketball tournament with over 200 teams and has a fine, small arena.

I talked with the all-star team assembled to play UVA for the two games and learned that their best player was former Gonzaga player (2011-13) Guy Edi, who now plays in the French first division. The team also had a few Spanish first division players to go along with second division players.

Wilkins, Shayok, and Thompson sat out the first game, which was close throughout. That left five posts and five guards/wings, so playing time was less regular than the previous games and substitution patterns were more like a real game instead of 5-for-5.

If Perrantes hadn’t taken over in the second half and scored 14 overall, we probably lose. We all want him to be a little more assertive hunting his points, and this game showed that he can do it. Whether he can do it in the ACC is, of course, a separate question.

Game 5 should have been closer with London sitting out (for the second time on the trip), and Guy and Salt joining him on the bench. Instead UVA won a laugher, and I streamed the second half on Periscope. (An organizer commented on The Sabre in August that in the second game, the local team was missing some of its best players.)

I only kept stats the first half, and Shayok was particularly aggressive hunting his shot–going 4-9 on two pointers and 0-1 at the line.

Huff had a few blocks and an altered shot in the game, and Mamadi got an earful from Bennett for not finishing a dunk when he was fouled. Diakite does need to be a stronger finisher.


These are not highlights, just the randomly timed videos I shot during game 4 (and the warm up to game 5.)

It starts with some of the UVA coaches’ and staff’s kids holding the flags for the national anthem, features tons of misses from game 4, and dunks from before game 5.

My favorite part by far is hearing Coach Bennett’s wife yell at the refs after Nichols’s first miss. She’s a great lady, and it was nice meeting her and the other wives and sitting with them at the games.


Lining up for national anthems
UVA kids with Catalan flag. Catalans kids carried US flag
Exchanging trinkets pre-game a la soccer
I’m 6’4″. Kyle Guy is not
Stretching Pre-Game
Jay Huff is insanely tall (I’m 6’4″)
Diakite is not quite Huff’s height
Those shorts!