e like Tina Thompson’s boldness and bravery in setting her Cavaliers’ nonconference schedule.

The University of Virginia women’s basketball coach has her team playing such powerhouses as Kentucky, USC, UCLA and even the University of Connecticut — holder of numerous records, including a record 11 NCAA Division I championships.

Coach Thompson’s strategy encompasses both high aspiration and grim reality.

“We are preparing for the ACC,” she said. “There is not one game in the ACC where you can take a day off, so it’s a disservice to play a cupcake nonconference schedule so we have a good record, but then we go into the ACC unprepared.

“We have to be prepared to compete day in and day out. It’s absolutely necessary.”

Some coaches do pamper their players with “cupcake” schedules. Ms. Thompson doesn’t want to take that easy path. She wants her team to be tough enough for the long haul.

Good for her.

And good luck to her and the team.

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