ACC Basketball

Cavaliers one game away from ACC Title

Geoff Burke / USA Today Sports / January 18, 2014

“We won ugly,” said Virginia head coach Tony Bennett.

Why was it ugly? The Cavaliers hit 47% of their shots, the two teams only turned it over a combined 19 times, fouls were not an issue. It was a hard fought, good defensive effort by both team. 24 minutes into the game and no team had a lead bigger than four points. Not until Virginia went on a 12-3 run midway through the second half did a team finally pull away.

Of course the Cavaliers got cold, going six minutes without a basket, scoring just two baskets in the final nine minutes. Pittsburgh was able to rally and probably should have had a chance to tie it late, but the refs decided to swallow the whistle.

With just 15 seconds on the clock James Robinson picked Malcolm Brogdon’s pocket and drove to the basket. He put up a stunning lay up over Anthony Gill, but there was definitely contact and Robinson should have gone to the line with an “and-one” to tie the game.

In the end, it was yet another efficient effort by a Tony Bennett team. No one player stood out, but props go to the two seniors who have been there since the beginning of the Tony Bennett era. Joe Harris led all Virginia scorers with 12 and Akil Mitchell scored eight points on 4-6 shooting, grabbing 8 rebounds as well.

Pitt’sTalib Zanna, who should be on the all-tournament team, had another solid game, hitting 5-8, scoring 15 points and pulling down nine more rebounds (giving him 42 in three games). Joe Lunardi at ESPN still has the Panthers as a nine-seed, but I wouldn’t be shocked if they get bumped up to the 7-seed come Sunday.

Virginia now waits the winner of North Carolina State/Duke.

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