Coveting the program's first Atlantic Coast Conference tournament
championship in 38 years, the Cavaliers are looking for more.
"It felt amazing," forward Akil Mitchell said. "It's all we wanted
to do when we came here. Now we've still got work to do."
Guard Malcolm Brogdon's 23 points and guard Joe Harris' 15 points
carried sixth-ranked Virginia in a 72-63 championship-game victory
over seventh-ranked Duke on Sunday afternoon at the Greensboro
The Cavaliers (28-6) pulled away from a second-half tie and are in
position for a high seed in the NCAA tournament.
"To me, the true joy was how hard they played between the lines,"
Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. "To see it unfold and to earn this
against that team."
Duke forward Jabari Parker had 23 points, including a second-half
flurry that had the arena buzzing.
"We were right there despite not being able to finish," Duke coach
Mike Krzyzewski said. "The heart of our team was great."
Bennett said there will be plenty of time to savor the Cavaliers'
"We'll relive all this stuff later," he said, suggesting attention
should be on the NCAA Tournament.
Forward Anthony Gill added 12 points for top-seeded Virginia, which
hadn't won an ACC tournament title since 1976. Harris, who was named
the tournament's most valuable player, had 13 of his points in the
"It's very rewarding to get to this level," Harris said, noting the
tremendous fan support in the arena as thousands of Virginians
showed up for the title game. "It's pretty special we were able to
share that with the fans."
Virginia made stops on three consecutive possessions, but Duke guard
Quinn Cook was left open in transition for a 3-pointer to cut the
deficit to 64-60 with 1:26 left.
Brogdon answered for the Cavaliers on a drive, then two more
defensive stands led to more Virginia free throws. A technical foul
on Duke guard Rasheed Sulaimon with 39 seconds to play sealed it.
"They're a great defensive team," Duke forward Rodney Hood said. "At
the same time, we got a lot of good looks. Some (of those) are going
to haunt me tonight."
Hood's 13 points and forward Amile Jefferson's 11 points aided
third-seeded Duke (26-8), which was aiming for its 20th ACC
Duke went up 45-44 on Parker's 3-poiner at the 9:15 mark. That was
part of a personal seven-point burst in a 90-second stretch for the
A tip-in from Mitchell gave the Cavaliers at 57-53 edge.
Duke's foul trouble included three players with four fouls with 6:34
remaining. By the 3:53 mark, Parker had his fourth foul.
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The Cavaliers outscored Duke 25-7 on free throws.
The result ended Duke's three-game winning streak, including two in
"Going to the NCAA Tournament, these three games really helped us
get to another level," Krzyzewski said.
Brodgon's big offensive output came after he averaged eight points
across the first two games of the tournament.
"I try not to get too up or down," he said.
Virginia led 28-25 at halftime, with Duke hitting 30 percent
(9-for-30) of its shots.
It was tied after the first two Virginia possessions of the second
half ended in turnovers.
Earlier, it took Duke 11 minutes reach double-figure points,
primarily because of 3-for-20 shooting.
Even though Virginia broke to a 9-2 lead, the Blue Devils tied the
score at 19-19 on Parker's step-back 3-point basket with 3:53 left.
Virginia went up 25-19 late in the half after guard London Perrantes
made two free throws off Krzyzewski's technical foul.
Afterward, Krzyzewski bristled about official Jamie Luckie's
decision on the technical foul, calling it "absolutely ridiculous,
Duke's starting backcourt of guard Tyler Thornton and Sulaimon was
scoreless in the first half. They ended up with a total of two
Virginia center Mike Tobey, who averages 6.4 points per game, had
six points in the first nine minutes. Jefferson, who tallies 6.5 per
outing, matched Tobey a couple of minutes later.
Jefferson ended up with a double-figure total for the first time in
NOTES: The last time Virginia defeated Duke in the postseason came
20 years ago, but that wasn't in the tournament final. ... Duke won
16 of its previous 18 conference tournament games in Greensboro. ...
Virginia has held 21 consecutive opponents to less than 50 percent
shooting from the field. ... Duke won 69-65 in a regular-season
meeting with visiting Virginia on Jan. 13.
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