Colleges

Pitt faces No.1 seed Virginia in ACC semi

Posted March 15

Virginia coach Tony Bennett and Anthony Gill during the Cavaliers' game versus the Blue Devils on Monday, January 13, 2014 in Durham, NC.  Duke defeated Virginia 69-65 (Photo by Jack Morton).

The top-seeded Virginia Cavaliers continue their quest for a championship sweep as they take on the Pittsburgh Panthers in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament on Saturday afternoon at Greensboro Coliseum.

The winner of this game will take on either Duke or NC State for the tournament title and automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament on Sunday.

Virginia has been the epitome of consistency this season, winning 16-of-18 total ACC outings to capture the regular-season title. It marked the Cavaliers' second outright crown and first since 1981. With one of the top four seeds in this event, Tony Bennett's squad earned a double-bye into Friday's quarterfinal round. The Cavaliers posted a double-digit win over Florida State in their first tournament action to advance, 64-51.

Jamie Dixon's Panthers are in their first ACC Tournament, and like the regular season, seem perfectly comfortable in their new surroundings. Pittsburgh earned a five-seed and started its tournament run in the second round with an 84-55 rout of Wake Forest. The Panthers took out four-seed North Carolina in Friday's quarterfinals, 80-75 to move within one win of playing for the tournament title.

The Cavaliers own an 8-3 lead in the all-time series with the Panthers and won a defensive-battle that went down to the wire on Feb. 2 in Pittsburgh, 45-43.

Talib Zanna was the enforcer for Pittsburgh against North Carolina, scoring 19 points and grabbing an eye-popping 21 rebounds in the Panthers' win over the Tar Heels on Friday. James Robinson added 19 points of his own for Pittsburgh, which led by as many as 20 points in the second half, before fighting off a UNC run late to earn the victory. Lamar Patterson and Cameron Wright finished in double figures as well, with 12 and 11 points, respectively. The Panthers shot an impressive 51.9 percent from the floor in the game.

The Panthers finished third in the ACC in scoring this year (72.6 ppg) and fifth in scoring defense (62.5 ppg), showing great balance. Both seniors, Patterson and Zanna usually fuel the Pittsburgh attack. Patterson ranked fifth in the conference in scoring in the regular season at 17.6 ppg. Zanna added 12.5 ppg and ranked second in the ACC in rebounding (8.3 rpg).

Joe Harris poured in 20 points and Anthony Gill added 16, as Virginia ousted Florida State on Friday, earning their first spot in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament since 1995. The Cavaliers limited the Seminoles to a mere 51 points, holding them to just .426 shooting, while forcing 15 turnovers in the victory.

Defense is what fuels Virginia's success. The Cavaliers lead the nation in scoring defense (55.4 ppg), holding foes to just .384 shooting. Putting up gaudy scoring totals isn't a priority, but scoring just over 66 points per game is more than enough. All-ACC Second-Team selection Malcolm Brogdon (12.6 ppg) leads the way in the scoring column. Harris, a Third-Team honoree is next in line (11.4 ppg). Forward Akil Mitchell (7.1 ppg) isn't much of a scorer, but is the team's top rebounder (6.9 rpg), picking up honorable mention.

Both these teams like to impose their will on their opponent. The Panthers are red hot in the tournament and if they can find a way to get up early, Virginia is not a come-from-behind type of team.

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  • vt94hokies Mar 15, 3:39 p.m.

    Congratulations to UVA. Great coach. Players listen to Bennett and his staff. They are solid in all cats most of the time. Bennett has molded this team into a winner. Look to see his recruitment go top shelf.

  • Ken D. Mar 15, 3:20 p.m.

    Happy for UVA, they deserve to be in the championship game. Also happy only an original
    ACC team... View More

    — Posted by mike honcho

    I was kind of hoping that State would beat Pitt in the final, which would have given the ACC a sixth bid to the NCAAT. We still might, but I'm not sure putting State in wouldn't knock Pitt out.

  • mike honcho Mar 15, 3:08 p.m.

    Happy for UVA, they deserve to be in the championship game. Also happy only an original
    ACC team has a shot to win it. I'm obviously pulling for Duke, but will be happy for NC State or UVA should they win. Glad Pitt and the Cuse joined the league, don't want them winning their first ACC tourney, you know how arrogant yankee's can be.

    GO DEVILS!

  • GunnyGoesBaaaarf Mar 15, 2:30 p.m.

    Go 'Hoos! Tight game so far, hope UV win.

  • CBB: North Carolina vs. Ohio State

    Saturday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • CBB: UCLA vs Kentucky

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  • NFL: San Diego at San Francisco

    Saturday at 8:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NFL: Panthers vs. Cleveland

    Monday at 1:00 pm on WRAL-TV

  • NHL: Hurricanes vs. Toronto

    Tonight at 7:00 on 99.9 The Fan

  • CBB: Duke vs. UConn

    Tonight at 8:00 on 620am

  • WBB: Duke vs. UMass Lowell

    Tomorrow at 6:30 pm on 620am

Scoreboard
Local
Final
NCCU 108
BASC 52
 
Final
CHA 106
PHO 111
Final
NCSU 83
TENN 72
7:00pm Tonight
CAR
TOR
 
8:00pm Tonight
DUKE
UCONN
Final
CLE 98
ATL 127
Final
CHA 106
PHO 111
Final
DET 106
DAL 117
Final
BOS 109
ORL 92
Final
MIA 87
UTA 105
Final
TOR 105
BRK 89
Final
SAN 116
MEM 117
Final
POR 104
MIL 97
Final
DEN 111
HOU 115
Final
LAC 102
IND 100
8:00pm Tonight
CHI
NYK
8:30pm Tonight
HOU
NOP
10:00pm Tonight
SAC
MIL
10:30pm Tonight
GSW
OKC
Final
UNT 78
LANG 65
 
Final
Terriers 64
DELST 72
 
Final
MSST 55
ARKST 69
Final
NCCU 108
BASC 52
 
Final
GMAS 99
CATAWBA 69
 
Final
WOFF 64
CSOU 58
 
Final
HIGH 106
FERR 48
 
Final
JVU 68
GWEBB 65
 
Final
ILL 73
HAMP 55
 
Final
BST 52
JMU 72
 
Final
YOUNG 84
KNST 90
 
Final
UMO 71
LONG 60
 
Final
PITT 65
MAN 56
Final
OSU 97
NCAT 55
Final
FSU 93
UNF 77
 
Final
TOL 83
RMU 57
 
Final
CAMP 70
SIUE 65
 
Final
DUQ 52
RFLSH 67
 
Final
NCSU 83
TENN 72
Final
UCF 75
DET 70
Final
UNCW 73
LIB 70
 
Final
LOYC 83
ABCHRIST 44
 
Final
MURST 94
ALCOR 56
 
Final
HOU 56
ARKPB 61
 
Final
NW 67
CMICH 80
Final
WKENT 75
CHIST 60
 
Final
ODU 58
UGST 54
Final
SMU 67
ILLCH 46
Final
LALAF 115
MLGN 76
 
Final
TULSA 74
MIZST 70
Final
UWGB 66
MORE 50
 
Final
NEOM 92
NCOL 82
 
Final
TTU 101
SCST 39
 
Final
DEN 83
TAMCC 73
 
Final
STEPH 66
TXST 60
 
Final
STLU 75
TXPA 69
 
Final
MEM 83
USCU 73
 
Final
ILLST 64
TENNM 54
 
Final
MSU 66
EMICH 46
Final
GRCN 80
INCWORD 82
 
Final
STAN 67
LMU 58
Final
BAY 66
NMST 55
 
Final
CIN 71
SDST 62
Final
AUB 80
WINT 62
 
Final
NMU 76
CARK 55
 
Final
PEPP 53
HOW 45
 
Final
CPSL 60
NE 58
 
Final
UNLV 75
PORT 73
Final
OREG 79
CSNO 56
Final
WASH 86
GRAM 38
12:30pm Today
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STTHOMASTX
 
7:00pm Tonight
UVA
CLST
7:00pm Tonight
LIU
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CAN
USB
 
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DEL
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WCU
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VERM
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7:30pm Tonight
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IDST
 
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RIDE
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LATU
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8:00pm Tonight
CHAR
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MISS
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JST
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SD
MNTST
 
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UAB
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9:05pm Tonight
EVAN
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10:00pm Tonight
CSFU
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ORST
DEP
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PAC
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USF
PORST
 
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IDAHO
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UTST
CALST
 
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NJD 0
OTT 2
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MIN 2
BOS 3
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VAN 0
DAL 2
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PIT
COL
 
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PHI
FLA
 
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CAR
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CLB
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MON
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EDM
 
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JAC
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