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
Soccer
Golf
Auto
Horses
More
Betting Tools

 
Virginia holds off Pitt, 'under' cashes

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!

GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) - Virginia coach Tony Bennett keeps pushing his sixth-ranked Cavaliers for more in what is already the program's best season in more than three decades.

Advertisement
Next up is the chance to do something that even Ralph Sampson couldn't do: Win an Atlantic Coast Conference tournament title.

Anthony Gill hit two free throws with 8.5 seconds left to help Virginia hold off Pittsburgh 51-48 in Saturday's semifinals, sending the Cavaliers to their first championship game in 20 years.

Virginia arrived in Greensboro with its first outright regular-season title since 1981 and only its second No. 1 seed. The Cavs have just one title: the 1976 championship led by tournament most valuable player Wally Walker.

''It would be great to put another banner and have that to share with them,'' Bennett said. ''Wally sent me a text: `We want some company.'''

The Cavaliers (27-6) didn't have an easy time putting themselves in position for it, letting an eight-point lead slip all the way to one in the final seconds. But Gill, who was shooting 63 percent from the line, calmly made both free throws after James Robinson's hanging layup that had made it 49-48.

Pitt had a chance to tie with 4 seconds left, but Justin Anderson tipped Robinson's 3-pointer to Gill with 0.5 seconds left.

Joe Harris scored 12 points to lead the Cavaliers, who shot 47 percent against the fifth-seeded Panthers (25-9) to earn their first trip to the final since losing to North Carolina in Charlotte in 1994.

''There's no better feeling, of course, but we'll celebrate later,'' Anderson said. ''We're to a point where we have a chance to make a run, not just in the ACC but the NCAA tournament, and we have to ... continue to be humble. This team cherishes that and this team understands that and we'll be fine.''

Virginia, which has its best win total in 31 years, will face the North Carolina State-Duke winner Sunday.

Lamar Patterson and Talib Zanna each scored 15 points to lead Pitt, which was in its first ACC tournament. The Panthers, who were going for their first appearance in a league tournament championship game since winning the Big East title in 2008, shot just 37 percent.

The teams met only once this year, when Malcom Brogdon hit a 3-pointer with 0.4 seconds left in a 48-45 road win on Feb. 2. This one came down to another tight finish, though the Cavaliers kept the Panthers at arm's distance for most of the final minutes and maintained a fragile hold on the game.

After trailing by eight, Pitt closed to within 47-44 and got a good look for the tie on Josh Newkirk's 3-point attempt with 1:45 left, but never could level the game.

''Neither team really made that many mistakes,'' Robinson said. ''Every mistake that we did make, they capitalized on.''

Pitt got as close as 49-48 when Robinson stripped Brogdon and drove for a hanging layup over Akil Mitchell - hitting it through contact from Mitchell but with no whistle -with 10 seconds left to set up Gill's big free throws.

Pitt coach Jamie Dixon thought Robinson should've been going to the line to tie it, too.

''What can you do?'' Dixon said. ''We just watched it. Everybody saw it. I can't comment on anything else besides that. I can't state the obvious.''

Mitchell didn't put up much of an argument, saying he was a little surprised there was no whistle.

''I wanted to contest it as best as I could,'' he said. ''I definitely didn't want to foul. But, you know, they let it go.''

Virginia led 26-24 at the break and used a strong shooting start to the second half to finally build a working margin. The Cavaliers took their biggest lead on Gill's hook shot to make it 45-37 with 9:30 left.

But the Cavaliers suddenly went cold, going 6 minutes without a point while the Panthers started inching back into the game.

Pitt opened its first ACC tournament with a 29-point romp against Wake Forest in Thursday's first round. The Panthers then dominated No. 15 North Carolina for much of Friday's quarterfinals, building a 20-point lead before having to hold off a frantic comeback attempt to reach the semifinals.

Pitt lasted the longest of the three new league members. Notre Dame was eliminated in the tournament's first-round opener Wednesday, while N.C. State upset No. 11 Syracuse in Friday night's quarterfinals.

---

Follow Aaron Beard on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/aaronbeardap

AP NEWS
The Associated Press News Service

Copyright 2014
The Associated Press
All Rights Reserved

  
HEADLINES
Charleston, ex-coach reach settlement
Texas G Walker suspended for assault
Illinois loses PG Abrams to ACL tear
Wake Forest adds Crabtree's brother
Austin Peay PG Damarius Smith suspended
Marquette picks Scholl as athletic director
New Mexico coach gets $5.7M contract
Miami loses SG Reed for 4-6 months
Charleston introduces new hoops coach
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
ASA + 1019
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!
VI Daily Fantasy NFL Perfect Lineup Contest