UNC ran into a buzzsaw late against Virginia, just as so many teams before them.
The Tar Heels held tough with UVA, leading many to see exactly why they were considered for a No. 1 seed even with nine losses. UNC's strength of schedule is absurd, yet they haven't run into a defense this good...since the last time they played Virginia.
The Cavaliers are the kryptonite to any good offensive system, and there's nothing Luke Maye or Joel Berry could do about it towards the end of the second half in Barclay's.
Regular-season champ ✅— ESPN (@espn) March 11, 2018
Tourney champ ✅
The Hoos are kings of the ACC! pic.twitter.com/wvCL4hJwVo
This game was by no means in hand until the final minute of action. Virginia's two-point lead widened to an eight-point lead, which ought to be twenty considering the opponent.
UVA's halfcourt system not only takes time off the clock, but avoids turnovers. They will grind you into the ground with selective ball movement, only to strike with under ten seconds left in the shock clock, leaving their opponent demoralized.
Credit to UVA for controlling game start to finish. Love the fight from UNC, this team will go down swinging.— Taylor Vippolis (@tvippolis) March 11, 2018
This does not make them unbeatable come tournament time--we've seen this play out before. But the Cavaliers are a tough out, and Tony Bennett's squad might be better suited this year than any to finally break through and make a run to the Final 4.