When Duke, Miami (FL), North Carolina State and North Carolina are in your conference, you can’t rely on your conference tournament to get you a bid into the NCAA tournament. Virginia is squarely on the bubble right now, but with a loss to Maryland, they would’ve had to win the ACC tournament in order to be dancing.
Virginia got down by 17 early and it looked like another bad loss for the Cavaliers. Then an inspired Virginia team surged a comeback in the second half and was able to force overtime, where they would eventually get that much needed victory.
A loss today would have given Virginia another terrible loss on the resume and it would be one too many. With a lot of bad losses, it takes away all of the great wins the Cavaliers have, like their victory over Duke.
They have also beaten Wisconsin, Tennessee, North Carolina, and North Carolina State to improve their resume, but losses to George Mason, Delaware, Old Dominion, Clemson, Wake Forest, Georgia Tech and Boston College would override their good wins.
They finished the regular season at 21-10 while going 11-7 in the ACC. They finished in fourth place in a power conference and normally that would be enough to get in, but their bad non-conference play has them sitting on the bubble.
Thanks to the play of Joe Harris, Akil Mitchell and Justin Anderson, the Cavaliers were able to mount a comeback in a game they could not afford to lose.
Virginia now just needs to win a game in the ACC tournament and they should have a great shot to get in. This is a very good team when they play to their capability and deserve to be in the tournament.