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ACC Roundup - Virginia In A Near Miss vs. Villanova

The Wildcats survived the Cavs - but just barely

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Virginia v Villanova
PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 29: Ty Jerome #11 and Marial Shayok #4 of the Virginia Cavaliers walk off the court after the game against the Villanova Wildcats at the Wells Fargo Center on January 29, 2017 in Villanova, Pennsylvania. The Wildcats defeated the Cavaliers 61-59.
Photo by Mitchell Leff/Getty Images

Normally a non-conference game wouldn’t be the highlight of ACC play on a Sunday in January, but the Virginia-Villanova game was intense and ended with a huge play as ‘Nova’s Donte DiVincenzo tipped in a Josh Hart miss at the buzzer to give Villanova a win that had a definite March feel to it.

It was the only basket DiVincenzo made.

Virginia had a 49-39 lead with 8:04 left but Villanova is a great team and charged back.

Ty Jerome hit a basket for Virginia with :17 left to tie the game 59-59 to set up DiVincenzo’s heroics.

The only surprise was that UVA let him get near the basket. As Tony Bennett ruefully acknowledged after the game, "I wish we would have checked him off, and we would have been playing right now.”

Still, Virginia was right in it, which suggests good things for March.

That’s not the case for NC State.

After a superb effort at Duke last time out, State laid an egg at Louisville. Dennis Smith was held to eight points and State lost by 25, 85-60.

The N&O’s Joe Giglio, who has managed to irritate State coach Mark Gottfried a fair amount this season, might do so again with this column.

Then again, just about everyone agrees that State’s effort sucked, starting with Gottfried, who said this: “We were as heavy-legged and slow as you could possibly be. We had no zip.”

And this: “Two guys were playing man and three were playing zone and no one is talking to each other. That was indicative of the whole day. That was kind of a snapshot of our performance.”

Terry Henderson wasn’t impressed either: “It felt like nobody wanted to compete from the start of the game. I don’t know why. That’s just how it felt.”

At 14-8 and with some ugly losses, State’s tournament chances aren’t looking very good.

Dennis Smith, so sensational at Duke, was held to 3-12. Only Abu and Rowan had as much as 13 points.

Donovan Mitchell had 28 to pace Louisville. Keep in mind the Cards are playing without point guard Quentin Snyder and also Tony Hicks.

In the nightcap, Virginia Tech had to work to beat BC, which is now a very competitive team.

Jerome Robinson and Ky Bowman, the usual offensive forces for the Eagles, had 17 points apiece. But the star for the Eagles was Jordan Chatman, who had an amazing game.

Chatman was 9-11 from three point range, 10-12 overall, 13-19 from the line and finished with 30 points.

He shot 81% for the game, which is great. But he’s one guy. BC overall shot 44.3%. And Virginia Tech?

Virginia Tech shot 59.1%.

The Hokies won by just six, 85-79. Good thing they shot that well. But it’s no accident.

Virginia Tech has been a very unselfish team all season long. They’re a long way from the Seth Greenberg era. It’s hard not to admire that team.

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