2014 NCAA Tournament: Virginia Basketball Still Not Getting Respect It Deserves

By Gregory Philson

The Virginia Cavaliers earned every bit of their No. 1 seed in the East region in the NCAA tournament after claiming both the ACC regular season and conference tournament titles.

The Cavaliers ran through the ACC this season backed by the best defense in points allowed in the country (55.3) and having one of the least selfish teams in the country. Virginia’s toughest challenge in the ACC tournament came against the Pittsburgh Panthers. Despite only winning by three, the Cavaliers held the Panthers to only 48 points on 18-of-49 (36.7 percent) shooting.

Virginia surprised many when the brackets were announced, and the shock has been displayed with Final Four picks. Michigan State is getting most of the love out of the East as the no. 4 seed. While it may be deserved because of how the Spartans have been playing and Tom Izzo‘s track record, Virginia has been playing just as well over the last few weeks.

Virginia’s victory over the Duke Blue Devils almost looked like it came easy and probably surprised many casual basketball fans. The Cavaliers held the Devils to 24-of-63 (38.1 percent) shooting from the field.

Virginia also has a player who can take over games, but usually doesn’t have to. Joe Harris is as efficient as he is unselfish. Harris always has moments where he looks like he will light up the scoreboard, but never forces the issue. If the situation comes up where a tough shot is needed in a close game, Harris will not be afraid to pop it.

Virginia may be a No. 1 seed, but with the way early picks are looking, the Cavaliers could disrupt a few brackets.

Gregory T. Philson is an ACC college basketball writer at RantSports.com. Follow him on Twitter @GTPhilson, “Like” him on Facebook, and add him to your network on GoogleRead more here.

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