Final: Virginia 78 Memphis 60
Any questions about Virginia deserving a one seed, considering their sub par performance against Coastal Carolina, can be put to rest. The Cavaliers had their way with the Memphis Tigers the entire night winning 78-60, clinching a berth into the Sweet 16.
Virginia never allowed the Memphis Tigers run and gun game to transpire. The Tigers shot 29-59 (.407) from the field and 3-13 (.231) from the three point line. Virginia also dominated the paint out rebounding Memphis 40-28.
The Cavaliers backcourt duo of Joe Harris and Malcolm Brogdon were consistent on offense, scoring 16 and 10 respectively. With Harris and Brogdon's success it allowed forward Justin Anderson and Anthony Gill to score 23 combined points in the paint.
With the convincing victory the Virginia Cavaliers clinch their first Sweet 16 berth since 1995. Virginia will face fourth seeded Michigan State at Madison Square Garden on Friday, March 28. The game is set to start at 10:10 pm.
Posted 10:32 pm
9:20 left in the 2nd: Virginia 64 Memphis 41
The Cavaliers are picking up where they left off in the first half. Virginia is having their way on offense right now. Both Joe Harris and London Perrantes have a pair of threes, forwards Anthony Gill and Justin Anderson are dominating the paint for a combined 20 points. The Cavaliers now have a 23 point lead and appear (barring a complete collapse) to be on their way to the Sweet 16 to play Michigan State.
Posted 9:50 pm
Halftime: Virginia 35 Memphis 20
Top Scorers: UVA- Joe Harris- 9 pts, MEM- Austin Nichols- 6 pts
Virginia went on a 16-2 run to end the half
Virginia is doing what led them to an ACC championship and a one seed this season, imposing their will. The Memphis Tigers like to run and gun and play a fast paced game. The Cavaliers are not having any of it, holding the Tigers to 20 points in the first half. Virginia is contesting every Memphis shot leading the Tigers to shoot an abysmal 8-30 (.267) from the field. Virginia's offense has been lead by senior guard Joe Harris, with 9 points, and forward Anthony Gill, 5 points and 5 rebounds. The Cavaliers are shooting 14-25 (.560) from the field and out rebounding the Tigers 21-13. If Virginia is able to continue their game and wear down Memphis they could be on their way to clinching a sweet 16 berth.
Posted 8:45 pm
Preview: If Virginia wasn't completely on their toes to start the NCAA tournament they should be by now. Between their unimpressive start against Coastal Carolina and one eight seed already dethroning a one seed today (see Wichita State/Kentucky), the Virginia Cavaliers know tonight's game against the Memphis Tigers will be no easy task. The Tigers are coming off a gritty 71-67 victory over the George Washington Colonials in the second round. Memphis did not trail once in their game against the Colonials, something the Cavaliers could not claim against 16 seed Coastal Carolina. Virginia struggled in the first half against Coastal Carolina, at one point trailing by ten. The Cavaliers know they can't afford to get down by the same margin against Memphis, otherwise they could be the second one seed to fall today. Here is what to watch in tonight's third round match-up.
Virginia's backcourt: Virginia relies on their tough defense to wear down their opponents as the game goes on, but it is their backcourt duo of Joe Harris and Malcom Brogdon that make the Cavaliers go. Both Harris (11.7 ppg) and Brogdon (12.7 ppg) average ten plus points a game. If Harris and Brogdon are on their games it opens up the rest of the Cavaliers offense, if they are struggling, Virginia can struggle to put up points.
Memphis plays fast, really fast: The Tigers play an up and down game and want to get in a shoot-out. Memphis averages 20 points a game in transition. Their fast paced attack is led by senior guard Joe Jackson, 14.3 ppg, who epitomizes the speed and athleticism the Tigers rely on. If the Cavaliers are not careful with the ball Memphis will take advantage with transition baskets.