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Chris Graham: Workmanlike victory for UVa.

It had been a while since anybody has given UVa. a game on its home court at the John Paul Jones Arena in Charlottesville, Va.

chris-graham-header2Sure, Boston College rallied late last week to turn a deficit that was in the 20s most of the second half into a 10-point loss, but that game was never in doubt, even when BC cut the margin to six briefly in the final minute.

What Maryland was able to do Monday night, basically hang around with Virginia for 38 minutes, will be good for this Virginia team down the stretch.

You’re not always going to play your best game, and if you’re Virginia, now an unfathomable 11-1 in the ACC, you’re going to get the other team’s best shot every time out from here on out.

For example, Saturday at Clemson. Clemson would love a win over a Virginia team to boost its NCAA Tournament resume.

UVa. is not going to waltz onto the Clemson campus and steal away an easy win. That one is going to be a dogfight from the pregame warmups on.

And then thinking a couple of weeks ahead to a game back here in Charlottesville on March 1 against #1 Syracuse, that’s going to be another obvious toughie.

Clemson and ‘Cuse play similar games to Virginia. Limited possessions, tough D, opportunistic on the fast break when it’s there, but otherwise the game is a grind.

Tonight’s win over Maryland was a grind for the ‘Hoos. Good practice for Clemson, Syracuse and whatever NCAA Tournament run Virginia is going to have in March.

augusta free press
augusta free press