Virginia clinched a fourth seed in the upcoming ACC Tournament by defeating Maryland in overtime today, 75-72. It was the Hoos' first overtime game of the season, and we'll talk more about the ACC Tournament in just a bit, but first, let's talk about this game. Here are my five points of the game:
1. Mike Scott is still building his resume for ACC Player of the Year, as he scored a career high in ACC games with 35 points. His 35 points is the most any Wahoo has put up in an ACC game since Sean Singletary in 2008 over Miami. He did, though, miss two key free throws near the end of regulation that could have ended the game five minutes earlier, though you can't ever really pin it on one guy, and certainly not the guy who's putting up 35 points for you. He was also described by at least one fan as, "the nicest guy with neck tats you'll ever meet."
2. The Hoos spoiled senior night for Maryland, which I am just fine with.
3. Sammy Zeglinski had a solid offensive production night, putting up 20 points. It was actually a quiet 20 points, though it was comprised of a tie for a career-high four three pointers. In post-game interviews with Whitey Reid of the Daily Progress, Zeglinski revealed his secret to tonight's performance: Wilson basketballs. Maryland and NC State plays with Wilson basketballs, while Virginia at home plays with Nike ones. He describes Wilson's as having "a spongy feel." Here's more on this absolute nonsensical conversation that can be done by none other than Whitey Reid.
4. Mark Turgeon got a technical foul for arguing with the refs. Ha.
5. How about Jontel Evans? He continues to be one of the strongest players Virginia has, with ever-improving offense and just outstanding on- and off-the-ball defense. He racked up six assists and four steals with just two turnovers today.
I think I used up two thoughts on some junk up there, so two bonus thoughts following the jump.
6. Virginia had an eight point lead with about five and a half minutes left in the game, leading by as many as 12 at one point. In what felt like a Deja Hoo moment, Maryland went on a 12-4 run to close out the second half and bring the game to overtime. Correct me if I'm mistaken, but isn't Coach Bennett's system specifically designed to prevent these sorts of runs against Virginia? If the Hoos are to make a statement next week in the ACC Tournament, they're going to need to make some sort of adjustment here, whether it's just retaining focus or something else -- hopefully the issue is not simply a matter of a lack of personnel to keep the energy levels high.
7. Mike Scott played 44 minutes today (out of 45 possible), as did Sammy Zeglinski. Against Florida State on Thursday, Zeglinski had 39 minutes, while Scott had 38. I can't even imagine how these guys are feeling after these games. Next week, the Hoos will have to play back-to-back-to-back games, hopefully, in the ACC Tournament, then possibly again on little rest for the NCAA Tournament. Boy, it'd be nice to have those transfers back now.
As Zeglinski said, "Nothing's guaranteed, so we've still got to get work done in the ACC Tournament.