GREENSBORO, N.C. — The final minutes would have been less anxious for the orange-clad fans in the stands, as well as the players and coaches on the home bench, had Virginia played as well in the second half as it had in the first at the Greensboro Coliseum.
“But we labored,” head coach Tony Bennett said.
The first 20 minutes were much different. Before a crowd dominated by their supporters, the Cavaliers shot 63.2 percent from the floor and took a 34-17 lead into the break.
“Coach Bennett challenged us to come out with a little bit more fire in this game, and I thought we did,” redshirt junior Malcolm Brogdon said. “I thought we came out and we played harder, and executed better.”
In the second half, though, the Wahoos broke down repeatedly at both ends of the floor. And so the first quarterfinal of the ACC men’s basketball tournament grew tighter and tighter. Ninth-seeded Florida State’s deficit was only five points with six minutes to play and six at the 3:25 mark.
But the Seminoles (17-16) came no closer. Top-seeded UVa closed with a 10-2 run to advance to the semifinal round for the second straight season. The 58-44 victory was not the blowout it might have been, but the defending champion Cavaliers (29-2) were happy to be moving on.
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