You might have heard: This is March. As a result, the Virginia Cavaliers will continue to be asked about their historic NCAA Tournament loss to UMBC, even more than during the regular college basketball season. How is Virginia using that moment in relationship to the way it moves through this season? Some perspective emerged on Saturday afternoon in Charlottesville.
Virginia polished off Pittsburgh, 73-49, to move to 14-2 in the ACC, tied with North Carolina and one game ahead of Duke in the conference standings. Virginia defeated Carolina head to head, so the Cavaliers are currently in line to be the top seed at the ACC Tournament. They play Syracuse Monday night in the Carrier Dome, and they know how they must focus for that contest.
Attention to detail pervades the culture of Virginia Cavaliers basketball.
UVA guard Kyle Guy said after the win over Pittsburgh that while it is easy for fans to view Saturday’s runaway as a leisurely picnic lunch, the Cavaliers do not — and cannot — let down their guard.
“We got the greatest lesson learned ever last year,” Guy said, referring to the Cavaliers’ 74-54 loss to UMBC in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, making them the first top seed to lose to a No. 16 seed. “So even though they’re a young team and they may not be the greatest this year, they played really hard.”
Virginia’s competitive attitude has served it well. If it can win in Syracuse on Monday, a home game against cratering Louisville on March 9 will be the only thing standing in the way of UVA and another top seed at the ACC Tournament.
Tunnel vision is good. This is March.
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