For many teams, a loss at a critical point can doom the rest of the season, but for the Virginia Cavaliers, a loss in the team’s regular season finale may prove to be the turning point in the season for the ACC leaders. The Cavaliers play a dangerous brand of basketball that allows opponents to hang around to the very end while relying on the defense to grind out a win, and while this philosophy has been criticized after losses this year, the Cavaliers resume speaks for itself. Virginia is 26-6 overall, holds the regular season conference title with a record of 16-2, and looks to finish out the season by winning the ACC tournament championship and making a deep run in the NCAA tournament.
After losing the regular season finale, it was crucial that the Cavaliers rebound from the loss to get some momentum going into the tournament, and that is exactly what Virginia did Friday, beating the Florida State Seminoles 64-51 in the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament. Joe Harris and Anthony Gill got the Cavaliers back on track today, scoring 36 of the team’s 64 points.
In the process of returning to midseason, the Cavaliers also eliminated Florida State from bubble discussions, leaving the ACC with only five NCAA tournament teams. If the Cavaliers are able to make a run through the ACC tournament and win the title, Virginia has a very good chance at capturing the last number seed in the Big Dance, which could prove to be a huge advantage this year.
Virginia has the playmakers to complement the team’s stingy defense, which makes the Cavaliers among the favorites to cut down the nets in Dallas.
Greg Douglas is a College Basketball writer for RantSports.com. Follow him on twitter @thegpd93 or add him to your Google Network.