Well one thing is for sure: the selection committee is going to have a heck of a time figuring out what to do with UVA on Sunday. The Wahoos were handed a devastating loss at the hands of the NC State Wolfpack in the second round of the ACC tournament on Friday afternoon. Virginia had a bye in the first round by virtue of finishing in the top 4 at the end of the regular season, however, on this afternoon, anyone who did not know the regular season standings would undoubtedly believe that the Wolfpack, who were preseason favorites to win the ACC, were the higher seed. NC State was able to take control of the game early and they never looked back. UVA was sloppy on both ends of the court, missing open shots and allowing NC State to score at ease.
Mar 15, 2013; Greensboro, NC, USA; North Carolina State Wolfpack forward Richard Howell (1) reacts after a basket by forward C.J. Leslie (5) as Virginia Cavaliers guard Paul Jesperson (2) and forward Akil Mitchell (25) look on in the second half. The Wolfpack defeated the Cavaliers 75-56 during the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament at Greensboro Coliseum. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
In a completely one-sided affair, the Wolfpack dominated with their multidimensional offense. The Wolfpack demonstrated the well-roundedness of their team by scoring inside with CJ Leslie and hitting outside 3-pointers courtesy of Scott Wood, who had 23 points and seven 3-pointers. UVA had no answer for NC State’s perimeter shooting and on a day when they really needed inside help from Mike Tobey, the 6-11 freshman center was essentially absent. Neither team seemed to like playing an up tempo style but NC State’s half court offense was significantly smoother than their counterpart’s. NC State’s offensive efficiency gave them a 9-point lead going into halftime.
The second half picked up right where the first half ended as Scott Wood opened the half by connecting on back to back to back 3-pointers. Virginia was never truly able to recover from the huge momentum that the Wolfpack gained from Wood’s stellar shooting. NC State extended their lead to 19 points midway through the second half and Virginia was able to cut it down to 13 points a couple times and even 11 points with 3-pointers from Evan Nolte and Justin Anderson, but that was as close as the Wahoos got to the Wolfpack. The only concerning part of the afternoon for the Wolfpack was the pain Richard Howell seemed to face throughout the game. At one point, Howell was even shown on the bike trying to loosen up his thigh. The Wolfpack have secured their spot in the NCAA tournament so it may not be a bad idea for them to give their star forward some resting time leading up to the tournament.
As for UVA, all the team can do at this point is anxiously wait for Selection Sunday. UVA may have the most absurd tournament résumé I have seen in a long time. They have been able to beat great teams like Duke, Wisconsin, and NC State, but losses to GMU, Old Dominion, Clemson, Delaware, and Wake Forest will keep the Wahoos on edge going into Sunday. Whether the Cavaliers make the tournament or not, be sure to tune into All Over The Hill for Selection Sunday coverage!