#11 UVa. battles #4 Syracuse in ACC showdown on Saturday
No. 11 UVa. (24-5, 15-1 ACC) hosts No. 4/5 Syracuse (26-2, 13-2 ACC) in ACC action on Saturday, March 1. Tipoff at John Paul Jones Arena (14,593) is set for 4 p.m. Virginia can clinch its sixth ACC regular-season title (second outright) and its second No. 1 seed for the ACC Tournament with a win against Syracuse.
The Virginia-Syracuse game will be televised by ESPN and online at WatchESPN.com. The game will be broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network, ESPN Radio and Sirius (Channel 91) and XM (Channel 91) satellite radio stations. Live statistics are located on VirginiaSports.com, as well as the Virginia Sports app, which is available free of charge through iTunes. Fans can also follow the game via Twitter at @UVaMensHoops.
The Virginia-Syracuse game is sold out.
White rally towels sponsored by UVa Health System will be distributed to fans as they enter John Paul Jones Arena for Saturday’s game.
• Virginia has won 12 straight games and meets Syracuse for the first time in ACC action.
• Virginia is first in the ACC at 15-1 and Syracuse is second at 13-2.
• Virginia will honor seniors Joe Harris, Akil Mitchell and Thomas Rogers in a pregame ceremony beginning at 3:50 p.m.
• The Cavaliers rank No. 1 nationally in scoring defense at 54.7 ppg.
• Virginia’s 15-1 ACC record is a program-best, surpassing the 13-1 league record in 1980-81.
• UVa’s 24-5 record is its best through 29 games since 1982-83 (26-3).
A Win vs. Syracuse Would…
• Extend Virginia’s school-record ACC win total to 16 games.
• Give Virginia its first 13-game ACC winning streak.
• Give Virginia its first 13-game winning streak since 1981-82.
• Extend Virginia’s school record to 18 straight home ACC wins.
• Give Virginia 25 wins for the first time since winning 25 in 1994-95.
• Give Virginia a record of 20 games above .500 for the first time since 1982-83.
• Give Virginia 16 ACC wins, joining the 1998-99 Duke Blue Devils as the only teams to accomplish the feat.
All-Time vs. Syracuse
• Virginia is 1-3 all-time vs. Syracuse in the series that dates back to 1983-84.
• The Cavaliers meet the Orange for the first time since losing 73-70 to Syracuse on Nov. 28, 2008 at the Carrier Dome.
• The Cavaliers are 0-1 vs. the Orange in Charlottesville, losing 70-68 on Dec. 5, 2007 at John Paul Jones Arena.
• Head coach Tony Bennett will coach his first game against Syracuse.
Last Time vs. the Orange
• Jonny Flynn and Andy Rautins each scored 15 points, Rick Jackson came off the bench to key a late rally, and Syracuse beat Virginia 73-70 on Nov. 28, 2008 at the Carrier Dome.
• Virginia was led by Sylven Landesberg, who had 16 points. Calvin Baker and Sammy Zeglinski each added 14 points for the Cavaliers.
• Syracuse overcame a 13-point deficit for the second straight game to post the win.
Virginia in the Polls
• Virginia is ranked No. 12 in the latest AP poll, marking its highest ranking since a No. 10 ranking on Feb. 4, 2002.
• No. 12/11 UVa is ranked for the fourth straight week after not being ranked for 11 straight weeks.
• Virginia’s No. 24 preseason AP ranking marked its first since being ranked No. 11 to start the 2001-02 season.
• The Cavaliers returned to the rankings this season for the first time since Feb. 27, 2012.
Last Time Out
• London Perrantes had a career-high 15 points on 5-of-5 shooting, including a career-best 4-of-4 from 3-point range, to lead Virginia to a 65-40 win over Miami Wednesday.
• Malcolm Brogdon added 15 points and Joe Harris had 11 for UVa, which improved to 10-1 when holding opponents under 50 points.
• Erik Swoope had 13 points and Rion Brown added 12 for Miami.
• The Cavaliers held Miami to 26.3 percent shooting from the field, including 0-for-12 on 3-pointers.
• Akil Mitchell had a game-high nine rebounds as UVa outrebounded the Hurricanes 37-30.
• The Cavaliers shot 56.3 percent from 3-point range (9-of-16) as four players (Harris, Brogdon, Justin Anderson and Evan Nolte) each hit from long distance.
The Cavaliers’ success has been highlighted by their top-ranked defense, rebounding and balanced scoring. The Cavaliers are yielding 54.7 points per game and grabbing 54.7 percent of the rebounds, ruling the glass in 22 of 29 games. UVa also ranks eighth in the nation in field goal percentage defense at 38.2 percent.
UVa sports a balanced scoring attack, led by Malcolm Brogdon and All-ACC performer Joe Harris. Brogdon leads the team at 12.4 points per game, while Harris is second at 11.5 ppg. Brogdon has a career-best 16-game double figures scoring streak. He ranks first in the ACC in free throw percentage (89.1%) and 11th in scoring (14.9 ppg) during league play.
Versatile guard Justin Anderson, who had a several game-changing blocked shots this season, has recorded 8.8 points and 3.5 rebounds per game. Anthony Gill, who led UVa in scoring five times, has registered 7.9 points and 3.9 rebounds per game. Mike Tobey had a career-high four blocked shots vs. Notre Dame and has chipped in 6.7 points and 4.0 rebounds per game. Akil Mitchell had a game-high nine rebounds vs. Miami and leads the team in rebounding at 6.9 per game. Freshman point guard London Perrantes, who had a career-high 15 points against the Hurricanes, ranks first in ACC action in assist-to-turnover ratio (5.08) and sixth in assists (4.13 apg).
Virginia closes out the regular season at Maryland on Sunday, March 9. Tipoff at Comcast Center is set for 12 p.m. The game will be televised on CBS with Marv Albert and Steve Kerr on the call.