User ID
Password
  Forgot User ID
or Register Today!
VegasInsider.com
Follow Us on Facebook Follow Us on Twitter Follow Us on Google+ VI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto Racing
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Top-seeded UVA looking to buck history

New Sportsbook.ag customers: Make your 1st bet, get your 2nd bet free, 100%, winnings paid in cash.
Join Now

Already have an account? Click here to view new Exclusive Rewards!

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

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
IU adds recruit to newest freshmen class
Ewing, Falk give $3.3M to G'town center
UConn walk-on Amilo gets scholarship
Pearl eager to get to work at Auburn
NCAA to appeal O'Bannon decision
UConn to meet Ohio State, Arizona
Gaines, Kresse to receive Lapchick Awards
Vols adding Memphis transfer Woodson
Former Hoosiers stars reunite in Indy
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NCAABK College Basketball Handicapper Sports Picks Records
VegasInsider.com Gold Membership
2013 CBK SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
The Gold Sheet + 3952
Bill Marzano + 2405
Tony Stoffo + 2235
Last 7 Day Leaders
Handicapper Money
No Games Last 7 Days  
   
   
Percentage Leaders
Handicapper Pct
The Gold Sheet 57 %
The SportsBoss 56 %
Tony Stoffo 55 %
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
The Gold Sheet + 2810
Bruce Marshall + 2797
The Prez + 1048
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Kyle Hunter + 3283
Antony Dinero + 1301
Tony Stoffo + 1265
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
Marc Lawrence + 1600
The SportsBoss + 1422
Bruce Marshall + 1116
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!