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Virginia Defeats North Carolina for ACC Championship

Virginia Defeats North Carolina for ACC Championship

I feel really grateful that I get the chance to coach these kids and this team.

"I look at these kind of wins on Sundays like, these are kind of character wins", UNC coach Mike Fox said. "They still slide under the radar a little bit". "When you put that with our system and how we play defense and everything, it's a special team".

The Cavaliers won the Atlantic Coast Conference regular- season title, added the conference tournament championship Saturday night in Brooklyn and reaped the benefit of both by being named the No. 1 overall seed for the NCAA Tournament. As Virginia's Bennett said, "There's so much parity in this tournament, you get as healthy as you can, as ready as you can".

The four top seeds in the 2018 tournament are Virginia (the overall No. 1 seed), Villanova, Xavier and Kansas.

But you wouldn't have been able to tell all week.

She wasn't done earning points this winter for a Tar Heels squad that finished fifth in the 15-team meet with 61 points. That's Virginia in a nutshell; the Cavaliers do what they do, and they don't deviate from what Bennett has instilled in them. "It's a big step", Jerome said. Adding a neutral-court victory over Virginia to that list would only improve what is already the strongest collection of marquee wins of any team in the country. "It's a fight you have to have inside of you or you're not going to be successful at this level".

Prior to the game, Carolina coach Roy Williams noted that his team would have to put forth a ideal game to beat Virginia. After building a 9-point lead in the first 11 minutes, Rhode Island held a 36-33 edge at the break.

None of it fazed the Cavaliers.

Then Joel Berry III of North Carolina was swallowed up inside by Isaiah Wilkins, the conference's defensive player of the year.




The Crimson Tide trailed 41-31 at halftime but started the second half on a 28-3 run. Virginia has been one of college basketball's best teams this season, and this win nearly surely cements their spot as a 1-seed in the tournament.

One thing that's for certain is that Duke, North Carolina, N.C. State and N.C. Central will be among the 68 teams in the NCAA tournament.

At the ACC tournament, Virginia also showed some offensive potency, a scary sign for its opponents next week.

Last season, UNC fell to Duke in the ACC Tournament semifinals but turned around and strung together six wins to capture a national championship.

Junior center Rob Marberry thanked the fans, who clapped for almost an hour for cheerleaders, players and coaches until the Selection Show began.

North Carolina head coach Roy Williams - who's always said he would rather win games in the 80s and 90s and has famously come out against slower-paced teams, including Bennett's own father - doesn't think Virginia is stalling.

The No. 1 team will open the tournament Friday in Charlotte against UMBC, which upset Vermont for the America East Conference title after having lost to Stony Brook in the penultimate regular-season game.

"Our coaches do a heck of a job keeping us humble", senior guard Devon Hall said.

"We just don't have a post game", Boeheim said.


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