The Cavaliers erased any doubt in the quarterfinals that Louisville could knock them off.
Virginia offered a litmus test for the Tar Heels to see where they compare with another national title contender.
"This was a good tournament for us and we'll learn from this game", Pinson said. He's been stepping up and doing it all. The senior forward did not have the game he was expecting to.
Jeff Dowtin added 16 points and 10 assists for Rhode Island while E.C. Matthews hit for 14 and Jared Terrell tallied 13.
"If you can't enjoy this with this group of guys, and seeing their heart" said head coach Tony Bennett. That strategy has generally worked against the Heels, as Virginia has won five of the last eight head-to-head matchups, including the lone meeting this year, which came at Chapel Hill. It's odd to see that their points per game totals have only gone up by less than a point from last season to this.
Truth is, Virginia needed it more for its team and its city. That's another thing that Bennett's do so well of.
Meanwhile, after a shaky start, Wilkins ignited a defense that limited North Carolina to 38.5 percent shooting in the second half. Virginia slows it way down. If we try to play the ideal game and play as close as we can possibly play to that, then we'll have a chance to win. The Cavaliers are so disciplined. "They realize who they are, and they play to their strengths and stay away from their weaknesses, and as a coach, you have to admire that", Williams said of Virginia. The Cavaliers know when to take the jumper or attack the hoop.
The case against North Carolina is pretty simple too.
Second, the show will begin with all 68 teams revealed before they bracket is filled and matchups unveiled.
Duke went a mind-bending 46-2 from 1998-2000 and won two of the three ACC tournaments in that span.
Virginia is part of the old-guard ACC, but has still always found itself frustrated with North Carolina being the main focus of the ACC. "We'll need to get back to work this week after giving them some rest". Then in 2015, they lost again to the Spartans - the same Spartans that would make a magical run to the Final Four.
Guy was named the tournament MVP, as he scored 16.7 points per game over three contests.
Marvin Bagley III followed up his 33-point, 17-rebound game against Notre Dame on Thursday with 19 points and 13 rebounds for Duke. They directed an offense that committed only four turnovers, made 9 of 17 shots from beyond the 3-point arc and 20 of 22 free throws.
"The fourth-place finish scored the first points for the team and got the ball rolling in a sense", Dodge said.
In its quest for a third ACC men's basketball championship, Virginia did not have history on its side Saturday.
Two years ago, the Orange finished 9-9 in the ACC and lost their first game in the ACC tournament.
The Rams (25-6) are the first No. 1 seed in the Atlantic 10 to reach the conference championship game since Saint Louis in 2013. As insane as that sounds having a team with nine losses be in a position to land a spot on a top line. With one stunning rally on its resume, Providence almost made it two. That Duke still received a No. 2 seed has little bearing on North Carolina's chances this year because their resumes were very different.
The third-seeded Cougars will face 11th-ranked and second-seeded Wichita State on Saturday in the semifinal round.
"If you leave anything NCAA Tournament in the committee's hands, you're in trouble". Kansas was on the fringe, but with a win over West Virginia in the Big 12 title game that sealed it for the Jayhawks.