Get the Look
Get the Look
Virginia started its NCAA Tournament run off with a bang, dismantling the Hampton Pirates on the way to a 36 point victory. After falling behind 10-7 just over six minutes into the game, the Hoos scored 11 consecutive points and ran away with the game against the 16 seed in the Midwest to set up a second round game with Butler.
|Getting to the line (FT Rate)||17.9||13.8|
Here are three takeaways:
1. Hampton dared UVA to take threes...and the Hoos sure did so
You can't blame the Pirates for packing the interior against Anthony Gill and Mike Tobey and hoping Virginia had an off shooting night. But UVA had none of it, shooting 12 of 25 from behind the arc, with most of their attempts completely uncontested. It was a balanced effort, with London Perrantes making 4 of 8 three-point attempts, and Malcolm Brogdon, Darius Thompson, Evan Nolte, and Marial Shayok all making 2 apiece.
The team hasn't attempted that many threes this season since a 13-25 shooting night against Long Bech State. But I wouldn't be concerned about the team "settling for threes." Hampton gave UVA a ton of open attempts, and the Hoos took advantage. They definitely didn't ignore Anthony Gill on the interior either, as he scored a team-high 19 points on 8-13 shooting.
2. The Hoos were locked in and avoided another early-round scare
Two years ago, Virginia struggled against 16-seed Coastal Carolina, as they trailed at halftime and didn't pull away for good until late. They seemed to sleepwalk at times, and didn't grab an offensive rebound all night. Last year, 15-seed Belmont hung in as well, cutting UVA's lead to 3 with under 9 minutes remaining.
This time, the team was determined to avoid such a scare. They stuck to their game plan, pounding the ball inside to Gill but also taking advantage of the open shots they were given. They avoided defensive lapses. And they turned it over on just 8% of possessions, the lowest mark this season. This is how it's supposed to be when matched up against a 16-seed.
3. Tony Bennett's okay!
Despite the lopsided score, Wahoo fans did have one scare, when coach Tony Bennett appeared to collapse on the sideline.
It was a concerning moment, but everything's just fine (and Coach Bennett seemed more embarrassed than anything, as he waved his assistants to the side before walking off the court).
At the end of the day, the team was able to make light of it. Anthony Gill, who said a prayer as Bennett was helped to his feet, claimed to have "healed him." And Tony Bennett (the singer), probably confused by a deluge of tweets, wished Tony Bennett (the coach) well.