CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Virginia, the seed of the ACC tournament and widely regarded as a lock for a No. 1 seed of the NCAA tournament, will not cut the net in Charlotte Saturday night.
While the result is upsetting (Virginia was favored by 8.5 points initially), Leonard Hamilton's team is not a Cinderella story. With 27 victories a year, the Seminoles were already a # 3 seed in the CBS Sports Jerry Palm NCAA Tournament Support Screening get into the game and play some of their best basketball of the year. Losing to Florida State on neutral ground does not count as a bad loss for Virginia or anyone else, but it feeds the story that the Wahoos are prone to not be up for the playoffs.
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He did not help that Virginia was back in the building where he lost to UMBC in the first round of last year NCAA Tournamentor that for about 60 minutes out of 80, the team's performance did not match the urgency or intensity of their opponent. Tony Bennett, a quiet, calm man, chatted with his team over the last 90 seconds, trailing at nine seconds, as if hanging out for most of the match was part of the plan. The state of Florida was not going to be refused, despite the fire he showed at the opening. The Seminoles have a deep, athletic spin, and they have invaded all of Virginia, forcing hard shots and victories in battle.
"They were just the toughest team tonight, more physical tonight," said Virginia guard Ty Jerome.
Bennett continued to reiterate this theme: the state of Florida brought an endurance and a physique that Virginia was not able to match. Sometimes it is good, he said, not to always rely on his ability to go back and overcome his deficits. Since Virginia has lost only six games in the last two years, the habits of this group are generally to be able to overcome poor performance and come out victorious.
"These guys have been great all year and we have always found a way out," said Bennett. "And sometimes, it's a good reminder when you can not pull it off, we have to tighten the screws in other areas and be ready." But the hat goes to Florida State. good team, well trained. "
A few flat games in the ACC tournament should not be enough to totally sell your Virginia stock. It should be noted that the Cavaliers won the conference tournament last season. Nevertheless, it is difficult to blame someone for feeling uncomfortable by choosing Virginia, knowing that history tends to repeat itself. That said, Palm, an expert in parenthesis, says that the seeding of the Cavaliers should remain strong.
"Virginia's loss to Florida State means the Cavaliers will no longer have a chance to avenge their defeats against Duke or to beat North Carolina again," Palm said. "However, that will not keep them off the front row of the table, and Virginia will remain a No. 1 seed and will still be seeded ahead of Gonzaga, but the first row could be in doubt, according to the selection's comments. Chairman of the Committee Bernard Muir on CBS Sports Network this afternoon It is possible that if Duke wins the tournament, the Blue Devils would be the number one seed. "
Florida State does not have the NBA The talent of Duke, the only other team to beat Virginia this season, but he has enough time to interfere with the Wahoos inside in the same way that Zion Williamson has managed to win the two victories of the Blue Devils. If there is a plan to beat against Virginia that we can eliminate from this result, it is that you need both the size and the ability to penetrate and finish strong at the edge . That, and I hope that one of the best defensive teams in the country has a night of rest.
Virginia was only twice in the Final Four program in 1981 and 1984, and has only achieved the Elite Eight once (2016) over the past 20 years. The frustrations and disappointments caused by the early departures of the tournaments weigh on a fan base that is quite ready to see the stories reverse. They are tired of hearing that the UVA basketball style is not "fun to watch" and very very tired of hearing about UMBC.
But it is difficult to reverse the speeches when they are reinforced by results like the defeat on Friday night.