After no postseason games last year; Cavaliers ready to play in ACC Tournament

After no postseason games last year; Cavaliers ready to play in ACC Tournament
ANDREW SHURTLEFF, THE DAILY PROGRESS Virginia head coach Tony Bennett calls a play during the game against North Carolina Saturday in Charlottesville. (Source: andrew shurtleff)

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (WVIR) - The Virginia men’s basketball team is scheduled to play its first game in the ACC Tournament on Thursday, as the top-seeded Cavaliers will take on Syracuse in the quarterfinals.

The Orange advanced with an 89-68 victory over NC State on Wednesday.

The Cavs and the Cuse have already played once this season, with UVA winning by 23 points in January.

Virginia is 8-2 against Syracuse since the Orange joined the ACC, but the ‘Hoos aren’t taking anything for granted, even the game itself.

After all, it’s the same round, of the same tournament, in the same city, where the world became a lot different last year.

Head coach Tony Bennett says, “We’re gonna go and practice, and it’s like wait, that’s where the word came where, boom, it all got shut down. So that is sobering or surreal in a way. Here you are, 365 days or, I don’t know to the day what it is, but yeah it is a perspective check. To have played as many games, for us to be able to experience what we did, even the way it ended for us in the regular season, I’m very grateful.”

“You always have that feeling in the back of your head, could it get canceled, you don’t know what other teams are doing,” says junior point guard Kihei Clark. “Hopefully everybody’s staying safe and we’re able to continue with the tournament this year.”

Senior forward Jay Huff adds, “It’s a year where I honestly wasn’t sure if we were going to have college basketball, so the fact that we’ve been able to make it this far, to have an ACC tournament, have an NCAA Tournament, it’s great for me. Honestly this season was kind of just the cherry on top, because I was nervous we wouldn’t have it, so I’m glad that we’ve been able to make it this far.”

UVA and Syracuse are scheduled to tip-off on Thursday at noon in Greensboro.

The Cavaliers will be playing their first postseason game since the National Championship game in 2019.

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