Virginia's historically-strong defense that propelled them on Saturday night, but rather an offense that caught fire in the second half, making 11 of 23 field goal attempts, and shooting 42 percent overall.
"Villanova is an outstanding team, but it was pretty clear-cut between Virginia and Villanova", selection committee chair Bruce Rasmussen said on the live "March Madness Selection Show" about deciding on the top team. The last time Virginia won the ACC Tournament was in 2014, when the Cavaliers defeated Duke to claim the tournament title along with their regular season title. Despite coming into the tournament as a No. 1 seed, the team's win over UNC - a storied basketball school - came as a surprise to some casual college hoops fans.
"Everybody's capable in this tournament". "To be given a one seed is I guess a reward for a heck of a regular season and postseason, ACC conference tournament".
But after that, Virginia faces possible matchups with fourth-seeded Arizona or fifth-seeded Kentucky, the most daunting teams on those seed lines in the tournament. If who you beat matters most to this committee, then the Tar Heels have a real chance.
Virginia celebrates its ACC championship. Should the Cavaliers advance to the Round of 32, they'll face the victor of Kansas State and Creighton.
The Cavaliers never gave back control, though, and did a remarkable job of producing a stalemate on the glass against the best rebounding team in the country. He said it can be hard to transition from playing familiar conference foes for three months to preparing for an unknown opponent.
Four players are averaging at least 9.1 points per game for Virginia, they are Kyle Guy (13.9), Devon Hall (11.9), Ty Jerome (10.6) and De'Andre Hunter (9.1).
Over the last five years, Virginia has boasted talented teams with impressive regular-season records.
"I've always said that I don't think Tony holds the ball", said North Carolina head coach Roy Williams.
Virginia Tech is the eight seed in the East Region in Pittsburgh and will play Alabama Thursday night around 9:30. Villanova was a No. 1 past year and has consistently been a high seed under coach Jay Wright. "So we've got to go in there and try to play the flawless game and play as close as we can possibly play to that, then we'll have a chance to win".
The Cavaliers got an early lift from reserve guard Nigel Johnson, a graduate transfer who scored eight points in a 2-minute, 41-second span. Johnson had scored a total of three points in his previous four outings. Orlando Vandross, Virginia's director of recruiting and player development, coached under Odom at UNC-Charlotte. "As soon as I got on grounds, that's something coach preached".
Virginia and UMBC will tip off Friday at a to-be-determined time.