User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Top-seeded UVA looking to buck history

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Even after seeing its 13-game winning streak end in an overtime loss to Maryland in its regular-season finale, Virginia heads to the ACC tournament as the top seed with a 16-2 record in league play.

Advertisement
On one hand, that would seem to make the sixth-ranked Cavaliers the favorites to cut down the nets at Greensboro Coliseum in North Carolina. But on the other hand: Virginia hasn't won the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in 38 years, hasn't so much as reached the semifinals since 1995 and has lost 18 of its last 22 game in tourney play.

It's not just opponents the Cavaliers have to overcome, but history, too. That's why several players said the loss Sunday may have come at the right time.

''I hate calling losses good losses, but if there ever a time to have a good loss, this might have been the best one,'' forward Akil Mitchell said before Virginia practiced on Tuesday.

Guard Malcolm Brogdon said it was a ''little bit of a wake-up call'' for Virginia.

''We were living on a high a little bit,'' said Brogdon, Virginia's scoring leader with a 12.6 average and No. 2 rebounder (5.6). ''We hadn't lost in a while and it's good when you're humbled right before do-or-die time.''

Brogdon, who made the All-ACC second team, believes the Cavaliers earned respect by matching the league record for victories in a season, but added: ''I do not feel like the favorite at all. ... I always feel like my team is underestimated regardless of what we do, what we accomplish. It's good. It keeps you humble. It keeps you hungry.''

And, the Cavaliers hope, also keeps them focused in their bid to buck history.

''All the guys here are underdogs and we all have underdog mentalities, and for teams to be excited to play us means we just have to bring it. Our margin for error is much smaller now,'' Mitchell said.

''I feel like every guy in this locker room, every guy on this team feels like we have a chance to win when we're playing our style of basketball and doing it the right way,'' he said.

That way starts with defense. Virginia led the nation by holding teams to 55.4 points per game and won 12 of its 16 league games by 10 points or more. It's only other ACC loss was by 69-65 at Duke, a game decided in the final seconds.

Coach Tony Bennett, named the ACC's coach of the year on Tuesday, has lost four straight tournament games since the Cavaliers beat Boston College four years ago, and wants to see that drought end.

''You're not going to change who you are, but you really want to play well in this and advance,'' Bennett said. ''That's kind of the challenge that's in front of us, that we haven't gone on in this.''

So, too, does Joe Harris, who along with fellow senior Mitchell gets his last crack at winning a game in the tournament, and maybe a chance at ending another long drought in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers' outright ACC title was their first since 1980-81, when Ralph Sampson was a sophomore.

Harris, though, was quick to halt any trophy talk just yet.

''I'm more concerned with getting past the first round,'' he said.

---

Follow Hank on twitter at: http://twitter.com/hankkurzjr

Copyright 2017 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
Marshall: Bracketology Update
Nelson: Big Ten Snapshot
Arizona shuts down UCLA in 96-85 win
Kentucky tops South Carolina for SEC lead
Kansas State stuns No. 7 West Virginia
Wisconsin edges Minnesota in OT, 78-76
Marquette knocks off Creighton, 102-94
Villanova wins, but Providence cashes
Jones keys Duke's 70-58 win over Miami
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAA BK College Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NCAA BK Hot Streaks
12-2 L14 Guarantees, 12-3 L4 Days
6-3 Saturday, 13-5 L18 Streak
7-2 Run, 30-15 G-Plays, +1,935 TY
9-3 Run, 19-7 Picks, 11-3 G-Plays
10-1 L11 G-Plays, 30-17 L5 Days
6-2 Totals, 11-5 G-Plays, +2,861 TY
4-1 L5 Picks, 9-2 L11 G-Plays
3-0 L3 Guaranteed Plays
2-0 Saturday, 10-4 L14 Guarantees
4-1 L5 Over/Under Plays
4-2 L2 Days, 60% +1,167 TY
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2016 CBK SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
NeiltheGreek + 2861
Bill Marzano + 1935
Bruce Marshall + 1771
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
Don Anthony + 940
Scott Rickenbach + 475
Bill Marzano + 455
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
Michael Black 60 %
Brian Edwards 60 %
Don Anthony 59 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Bill Marzano + 1247
Scott Rickenbach + 905
NeiltheGreek + 806
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
NeiltheGreek + 2216
Antony Dinero + 976
Bill Marzano + 615
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kyle Hunter + 1534
Bruce Marshall + 1490
NeiltheGreek + 1265
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership