'Hoos Beat Duke 72-63; Win ACC Championship - NBC29 WVIR Charlottesville, VA News, Sports and Weather

'Hoos Beat Duke 72-63; Win ACC Championship

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The 6th ranked UVa men's basketball team beat 7th ranked Duke 72-63 winning the school's first ACC Championship since 1976.

Malcolm Brogdon led UVa with 23 points while Joe Harris added 15 points.
"It's been an unbelievable ride this year," said Harris. "I can't even begin to tell you how I thought this might have felt. The fact that we're in this position right now, I mean, I am at a loss for words. It's unbelievable." 

Brogdon said, "It's very exciting - we're just happy to have this opportunity and be able to take advantage of it."
Once again, Virginia relied on its first-ranked defense, which allows 55.1 points per game.

Justin Anderson said, "Those guys can really score. We wanted to make sure we controlled this game by playing defense and we contained them as best as possible. We came through with the win."
Akil Mitchell hit the boards hard for the Cavaliers racking up 15 rebounds. Mitchell said, "I love the challenge and I knew these guys needed me too. They kept telling me to lock them up and to play good defense and to lead them - and that's all I wanted to do."

UVa Head Coach Tony Bennett said, "We had the size advantage and we knew we had to play physical, on the glass and drawing contact. To see Mike [Tobey] start us off the right way and get on the glass. He did that down there at times and it's really important. In games like this you need those kinds of x-factor plays."

London Perrantes said, "We knew coming in that it was going to be a tough game. With their offensive fire power and our defense, we knew that it was going to go down to the end and we knew that we had to get key stops towards the end to win the game and there was a lot of big blows and we just kept battling, kept fighting and it paid off in the end."
Virginia shot 45% from the field (21/47) and bettered Duke in rebounds 39-34.
Sunday marked UVa's first trip to the finals since 1994 when the 'Hoos lost to North Carolina.
These teams met once during the regular season, when Duke prevailed 69-65 at home on Jan. 13. 
The 'Hoos denied No. 7 Duke of its 20th conference tournament title by defeating them in Sunday's ACC championship game.

Harris said, "Charlottesville - they needed a team like this to ride behind, and cheer for like this - they deserve this more than anybody."

Shortly after being crowned the ACC Champions, the Virginia men's basketball team claimed the east region one-seed in the NCAA Tournament. 

Head coach Tony Bennett and his 28-6 Cavaliers will open up against 16 seed Coastal Carolina (21-12) and former Clemson coach, Cliff Ellis, in an NCAA second-round game played in Raleigh, N.C., at PNC Arena on Friday March 21.

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