#1 Virginia holds off Clemson, advances to ACC Tournament final
UVA (30-2) led 44-30 on a Kyle Guy layup with 13:06 left, but the Tigers (23-9) got the margin to five with 25.9 seconds left on a Gabe DeVoe layup, after De’Andre Hunter and Kyle Guy each missed the front ends of 1-and-1s that could have iced the game.
The Cavaliers finally connected at the line when Devon Hall hit the front end of a 1-and-1 with 21 seconds left, the first free-throw make on the night for Virginia.
A pair of free throws by Aamir Simms with 13.9 seconds left cut the UVA lead to four, at 62-58.
Hall then hit two free throws with 13 seconds left to seal it.
Virginia led 32-23 at the break, closing the first half on a 19-3 run over the final 9:32, holding Clemson without a field goal over that stretch.
Guy had 15 points to lead UVA, which shot 46.7 percent from the floor.
The No. 1 seeded Cavaliers (30-2) advance to Saturday’s 8:30 p.m. championship game versus the winner of Friday night’s second semifinal between No. 2 seed Duke (26-6) and No. 6 seed North Carolina (24-9) … Virginia won 65-63 at Duke on Jan. 27 and defeated UNC 61-49 on Jan. 6 in Charlottesville.
Virginia is now 40-62 all-time in the ACC Tournament and has reached the championship game for the ninth time … The Cavaliers will be going for their third ACC Tournament title on Saturday night and their second in the last five years under head coach Tony Bennett … Virginia won the ACC Tournament title as the No. 6 seed in 1976 and as the No. 1 seed in 2014.
The Cavaliers are 9-14 all-time in ACC Tournament semifinal games.
Clemson (23-9) slipped to 20-65 all-time in ACC Tournament play and to 2-11 in semifinal games.
The No. 1 seed is now 23-11 all-time versus the No. 4 seed in the ACC Tournament.
The 30-win season is the fourth in Virginia program history.
Virginia is now 4-1 this season versus nationally ranked opponents this season, including two wins over Clemson.
The Cavaliers are 7-1 all-time at Barclays Center.
Virginia limited its 31st opponent of the season to less than 50 percent shooting from the floor (Clemson shot 34.7 percent) and held the opposing team to under 60 points for the 24th time.
Virginia held Clemson without a field goal and to three total points in the final 9:32 of the opening half, turning a 20-15 deficit into a 32-23 lead at the break.
All-ACC first-teamer Kyle Guy led Virginia’s scoring with 15 points and went 3-for-7 from 3-point range … Guy has reached double-figures in 26 games and has connected on 81 shots from 3-point range this season.
Virginia sophomore guard Ty Jerome handed out a career-high 10 assists and continues to lead the Cavaliers with 4.0 assists per game.
Virginia senior Devon Hall (10 points) reached double figures for the 22nd time this year.
The Cavaliers’ Mamadi Diakite (10 points) has scored nine or more points in four of the last five games.
With 18 points, Clemson redshirt junior Shelton Mitchell posted his 23rd double-scoring game of the season and his second of this year’s ACC Tournament … Mitchell has averaged 19.5 points in four career ACC Tournament games.
With 15 points, the Tigers’ Elijah Thomas reached double-figures in scoring for the 19th time this season.
Virginia Team Notes
- Virginia improved to 30-2 and secured its fourth 30-win season in school history (1982, 2014, 2015, 2018)
- The Cavaliers advanced to the ACC Tournament final for the ninth time (3rd time under Tony Bennett) and seek their third ACC Tournament titleon Saturday
- UVA has an eight-game winning streak vs. the Tigers
- UVA has a seven-game winning streak overall
- UVA is 27-3 all-time in the 16 weeks as the top-ranked team
- The Cavaliers improved to 7-1 all-time at Barclays Center (4-0 this season)
- UVA improved to 40-62 all-time at the ACC Tournament
- Virginia limited its 31st opponent to less than 50 percent shooting (Clemson – 34.7%)
- UVA held its 24th opponent to 60 or fewer points
- UVA led 32-23 at the half and improved to 27-0 when leading at halftime
- UVA went on a 16-0 run and held Clemson scoreless for8:25during the first half
- UVA held Clemson without a field goal for the9:54spanning halftime, marking a season high (9:28 vs. Monmouth)
- UVA went on a 10-0 run in the second half
- UVA out-rebounded Clemson 37-32 to improve to 19-0 when out-rebounding its opponent
- UVA owned a 21-5 advantage in bench scoring
Virginia Player Notes
- Kyle Guy (15 points) led UVA in scoring for the 13th time, reaching double figures for the 26th time
- Guy’s 81 3-pointers are tied for seventh on the UVA single-season list with Roger Mason, Jr.
- Guy’s 81 3-pointers are the most at UVA since Mason, Jr.’s 81 in 2001-02
- Ty Jerome tallied a career-high 10 assists
- Mamadi Diakite had 10 points and has scored nine or more points in five of the last six games
- Devon Hall (10 points) reached double figures for the 22nd time
- Hall matched a season high with three steals
- Isaiah Wilkins had five rebounds to move into 17th on UVA’s all-time rebounding list with 623