ACC CHAMPIONS!!! Virginia downs Duke to take conference crown

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Spor

WAHOOWA!!!!

The Virginia Cavaliers are the 2014 ACC Champions!  The Hoos won the conference regular season championship, finishing with a 16-2 record.  They today, they continued their run by outlasting Duke in a classic ACC final matchup, winning 72-63 and taking home the program's first conference title since 1976.  In front of a loud and pro-UVA crowd in Greensboro, the Hoos cut down the nets for the second times this year.  Now, UVA awaits its NCAA seeding, which will be announced on tonight's 6 PM Selection Show.

With both teams playing their third game in as many days, Duke and Virginia competed in an intense, well-played, and closely-contested championship game.  UVA drew first blood, using suffocating defense to open up a 13-4 lead, but the Hoos wouldn't see a margin like that again until the game's final seconds.  The Hoos grew stagnant on offense, and the Blue Devils crawled back, going into the break trailing UVA 28-25.

For 15 minutes in the second half, neither team led by more than 3 points.  While UVA held the lead for much of the period, Jabari Parker and the Blue Devils wouldn't go away.  One can't say enough about Akil Mitchell's defense on Parker; he's the best defender in the ACC, and it was apparent tonight. Parker got going in the second half, usually when he went against Gill and/or Tobey, and finished with 23 points, but needed 24 field goal attempts to get there.  While Akil guarded him, Jabari was just 5 of 17.  Rasheed Sulaimon, who buried the Hoos in the teams' first matchup in Durham, had just 2 points on 1-6 shooting.  The Wahoo defense was intense and motivated from start to finish, and wouldn't allow Duke to go on a run.

Holding the vaunted Duke offense to 1.06 PPP is an impressive feat.  UVA did it by holding Duke down to a 44.4% eFG% and keeping them from the free-throw line.  Though Duke did manage to rebound 34% of their own misses, UVA outperformed them on the offensive glass, finishing with a 38% OReb%.

Finally, as the clock moved under 5 minutes, UVA managed to put some distance between the teams.  Mitchell tapped in a Joe Harris miss to extend the lead to 4 with five minutes to play.  A minute later, Anthony Gill got to the line and made both free-throws to bring it to 6.  Gill scored 12 points on the game, with 10 coming from the free-throw line, but those came on 17 attempts.  The Hoos made just 25 of 38 FTs overall, but their ability to get to the line against a reaching Duke defense was key; UVA played a much cleaner defensive game, allowing just 11 Duke free-throws.

With the lead at 4 points, Joe Harris found himself wide open on a UVA fast break, and drilled a three-pointer.  When Quinn Cook answered with a three of his own, Malcolm Brogdon made a lay-up, then made free-throws down the stretch to seal the title.  Two of the attempts were earned after a Sulaimon technical foul; it was Duke's second T of the game, with Coach K earning one late in the first half.

Brogdon's season-high 23 points led the Hoos; after scoring between 10 and 19 points in each game during the regular season, he had just 6 against FSU and broke the 20-point barrier today.  Joe Harris had 15 on 5-11 shooting, and Gill added 12 more, 10 from the line.  Mike Tobey had 8, making three buckets in the game's opening minutes.  And Akil Mitchell, the game's defensive MVP, also added 7 points and a game-high 15 rebounds.  Calling Mitchell "active" is a comical understatement; he is absolutely vital to everything this team does. Perrantes was the final Hoo to make the scoring, adding 7 points.

Joe Harris was named the ACC Tournament MVP, as he had not only an efficient three games, but was assertive as well.  Brogdon joined him on the tournament's first-team, with Gill and Mitchell named to second-team.

While UVA looks to have a number 2 seed, and a first round game in Raleigh, locked down, the team does have an outside-chance at the final #1 seed.  Those odds will grow larger if Michigan State takes down Michigan in the B1G Championship.

We'll have plenty of coverage here in the next few hours, as we'll live-blog the NCAA Selection Show, and break down the bracket as soon as it's released.  Until then, enjoy the win.  Go Hoos!

Here's a view from the court after the game, from the Daily Progress's Whitey Reid:

In This Article

Teams
X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Streaking The Lawn

You must be a member of Streaking The Lawn to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Streaking The Lawn. You should read them.

Join Streaking The Lawn

You must be a member of Streaking The Lawn to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Streaking The Lawn. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9347_tracker