The Virginia Cavaliers have become contenders in the newly reloaded American Coast Conference and are now in search of an NCAA Tournament bid. The Cavaliers have surpassed expectations for the team already this season, as most thought the team would be hover around the middle of the pack in the new look ACC. With a win over the Pittsburgh Panthers, the Cavaliers sit alone in 2nd place in the conference just behind the top-ranked team in the country.
The Cavaliers 48-45 victory over the Panthers marks the team’s fifth straight win and shows that the team can win playing all different styles. The gritty defense of the Cavaliers was in full effect today when Virginia held Pittsburgh’s Lamar Patterson to just 10 points on 14 shot attempts. Malcolm Brogdon and Joe Harris led the way for the Cavaliers, combining for 27 points, seven assists and eight rebounds. The team is now 8-1 in conference play and moves one step closer to the NCAA Tournament with the win, but can the Cavaliers continue their success in conference play?
The remaining schedule for the Cavaliers features only one ranked opponent and one truly difficult road battle. As the schedule opens up for the Cavaliers, Virginia should take advantage of the coming weeks and get the team in tournament form. The Cavaliers one-two punch and punishing defense suits the team well for the postseason, but just how well will Virginia fare in postseason tournaments?
Virginia is a real threat to win the ACC tournament with the team’s ability to slow down familiar offenses, but a lack of scoring depth could prove challenging for the team in the NCAA tournament.
Greg Douglas is a NCAA Basketball writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @thegpd93 or add him to your Google Network.