Pack-Line rounding into shape Bradley led 22-19 with 7:46 to go in the first half, but Virginia would turn it on defensively from there, limiting the Braves to one more field goal in the opening 20 minutes as the Cavs took a 37-25 lead into the break.
The first 12:14 looked a lot like the bulk of the game Monday at George Washington, which pulled the 73-68 upset of the sixth-ranked Cavs in what looked at times like a layup drill.
Bradley got four layups in the first 10:10 of the first half, helping the Braves shoot 41.7 percent from the floor and score .874 points per possession.
The D tightened in the second half, and Bradley shot 36.4 percent from the floor in the final 20 minutes.
The points per possession actually ticked up a bit in the second half to .941 points per possession, aided by a 7-for-8 effort at the line in the final 2:05 in garbage time.
When it mattered, Virginia’s D was there to key the 18-3 run that closed out the first half, limiting the Braves to two scores in their last 12 possessions of the half.
Surprise: The D is still one of the best in the nation You wouldn’t think it, but through three games, the Virginia D is ranked third in the nation in defensive efficiency by KenPom.com, giving up .909 points per possession.
The UVA offense is ranked 13th, scoring 1.12 points per possession.
Offensive onslaught On the night, Virginia scored 1.34 points per possession, and shot 56.6 percent from the floor for the game, including 65.5 percent in the second half.
Telling stat UVA was 13-of-18 (72.2 percent) on layups and 5-of-5 on dunks. Bradley was 10-of-17 (58.8 percent) on layups, with no dunks on the night.
That puts the Cavs at +16 on point-blank shots on the night.
Statistical anomaly Virginia was 12-of-13 from the foul line in the first half, and just 4-for-4 from the stripe in the second half.
Bradley was 1-for-4 from the line in the first half, and 14-for-20 in the second half.
– Column by Chris Graham