Thursday, March 1, 2012

Virginia crushes BC; gets Maryland next in ACC Tourney

Virginia 72, Boston College 41: A very satisfying tournament opener for a Cavaliers team that went one-and-done in this event a year ago. This time the Cavaliers made it look easy against the highly disappointing Eagles (7-23) by combining their always-stingy defense with some impressive offensive firepower. Ataira Franklin's 3-pointer with 10:36 left in the first half extended Virginia's lead to 18-7, and the Cavaliers maintained a double-digit advantage the rest of the way. Franklin hit 4 of Virginia's 8 3-pointers and finished with 20 points. Ariana Moorer also score 20 for the Cavaliers (22-9), whose 72 points were the most by Virginia in regulation during an ACC game this season (they scored 73 in a five-point overtime loss to North Carolina).

Now comes the hard part - Friday's 8 p.m. quarterfinal against No. 3 seed Maryland (25-4). The Terrapins went 2-0 against Virginia during the regular season, handling the Cavaliers 68-61 in College Park and 73-56 in Charlottesville. In addition, the Cavaliers are 0-7 against the five ACC teams that finished ahead of them in the ACC standings. Rebounding figures to be a huge key for the Cavaliers, who were a combined minus-37 on the boards in the two games against Maryland.

Regardless of what happens against Maryland, though, the Cavaliers have eliminated the only result - a loss to Boston College - that could have severely stained their otherwise solid NCAA Tournament at-large resume. Of course, the only way to guarantee an invitation is to win the ACC Tournament. But at this stage the Cavaliers appear to be in pretty good shape for an NCAA bid no matter what happens the rest of the way.

1 comment:

  1. I'm hoping that the third time will be the charm for Virginia.

    Also, I'm curious -- I got the feeling that Sylvia Crawley *must* build something immediately or she'll be fired.