GREENSBORO, NC (WAVY) – The University of Virginia held off Duke 72-63 on Sunday afternoon, becoming just the second team in school history to win the ACC Tournament championship, and the first to do it since the 1976 squad.
The top-seeded Cavaliers are also the first team in school history to win both the ACC regular season title outright and the tournament title in the same year. Virginia senior guard Joe Harris (15 points) was named the tournament’s Most Valuable Player.
UVA stormed out to an early 16-7 lead over the third-seeded Blue Devils, but fought tooth-and-nail the rest of the way after Duke’s Jabari Parker tied the game at 19 with a 3-pointer.
Parker put his Duke team ahead 47-46 with 8:39 left in the second half, but that was the last lead they held. Virginia’s inside duo of senior Akil Mitchell and sophomore Anthony Gill played sensational, combining for 22 of the team’s 39 rebounds, and providing a combined 19 points.
A Mitchell offensive rebound and put-back gave the Cavaliers a 61-57 lead with 2:24 to play, but it was Harris who essentially sealed the game with a made 3-pointer from the left wing. It gave the Hoos a 64-57 lead over Duke with just 2:00 minutes left.
Duke never got closer than four points from there. Parker and Virginia guard Malcolm Brogden both scored 23 points.