For the first time in 31 years, the Virginia Cavaliers are regular season ACC champs. They lock up the title with a 75-56 win over Syracuse this afternoon, and they’ll be the #1 seed for the ACC tournament. SU can still claim the #2 seed with wins over Georgia Tech Tuesday and Florida State next Sunday.
The Cavs rough up the Orange on Senior Day in Charlottesville, winning the rebounding battle 38-28 and holding the Orange to 36% shooting . The double digit victory is Virginia’s 11th in conference play, and the Cuse loss is their 3rd in the last 4.
UVA is in tepid control throughout most of the second half, but they take full control after Tyler Ennis picks up his 4th foul at the nine minute mark (on another bogus charge call) and Virginia stretches the lead from 4 to 15 over the next 5 minutes. Ennis ultimately fouls out for the first time this season.
Jerami Grant sits out the entire second half after re-aggravating a back injury, and with the exception of a brief 2-minute stretch early in the period, the Orange once again look stagnant and dreadful offensively. Ennis, C.J. Fair, and Trevor Cooney each finish in double figures but they each only make 4 field goals and they combine to miss 24 of the 36 shots they take.
Even with their two best scorers (Malcolm Brogdon and Joe Harris) combining to shoot 7-22, the Cavs shoot 50 percent from the floor as a team and put up 48 points in the second half.
The final score slightly exaggerates how badly SU is outplayed, but there’s no doubt Virginia deserves to be champs.
Senior Day at the Carrier Dome is Tuesday night at 7 against Georgia Tech.