GREENSBORO, N.C. (AP) -- Coach Tony Bennett climbed upto the rim, gave the net a final snip and twirled and raised it toward allthose Virginia fans.
Savor it, Cavaliers. You've waited nearly 40 yearsfor a moment like this.
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Virginia claimed its first Atlantic CoastConference tournament title since 1976 on Sunday by beating No. 7 Duke 72-63 inthe final.
Playing in front of a raucous -- and mostlyorange-clad -- Greensboro Coliseum crowd, they shot 45 percent from the field,pestered the Blue Devils into 38 percent shooting and used a late 12-3 run topull away and claim the second ACC tournament title in school history.
"We were kind of joking around when we came in-- we were asking, 'Where are all of the Duke fans?' " Harris said."All we could see was orange when we were driving over here. ... The cityof Charlottesville definitely deserves an ACC tournament title."
JabariParker scored 23 points on 9-of-24 shooting for the third-seeded BlueDevils (26-8), who were making their 31st appearance in the championship gamebut were denied their ACC-record 20th title.
AnthonyGill added 12 points and was 10 of 17 from the free throw line forVirginia. Duke was just 7 of 11 from the line.
"We had a hard time finishing and getting tothe foul line when we didn't," Duke coach Mike Krzyzewski said.
The Cavaliers came to Greensboro after winningtheir first outright ACC regular season title since 1981, and were trying to dosomething not even Ralph Sampson could do.
It had been a long time -- 38 years -- since WallyWalker led Virginia to its only previous ACC tournament title.
Now that trophy won't be alone anymore.
"Wally Walker said we want some company withthat team in '76," Bennett said.
With its "pack line" defense clicking andholding Duke 13 points below its scoring average, Virginia was in control formost of the game, yet could never get any separation until the final 2½minutes.
"We kept talking about it -- don't get spedup, make them guard you, and make them earn on the other end," Bennettsaid. "We had to earn this against that kind of team and that kind ofprogram."
Harris gave Duke a final chance when he rushed up ashot and QuinnCook countered with a 3 with 1½ minutes left to pull the Blue Devils withinfour.
Brogdon then drove through the Duke defense for amomentum-shifting layup that made it 66-60 with just over a minute to play andcaused Duke assistant Jeff Capel to tellingly slump back on the bench inexasperation.
"I think we kind of rushed. We were just soanxious to get on the offensive end once we tried to get down and get theirmomentum on (Duke's) side," Parker said.
Cook missed a short jumper before Brogdon hit sixof eight free throws in the final minute to help the Cavaliers pull away.
Hood finished with 13 points on 4-of-12 shootingand AmileJefferson added 11 for Duke.
This was a one-possession game throughout thesecond half until Mitchell's tip-in with 5:10 left pushed Virginia's lead to57-53.
Parker missed three shots on Duke's nextpossession, then picked up his fourth foul with 3:53 left and Gill hit two freethrows to put the Cavaliers up by six.
Virginia was one of the few opponents which found away to slow Parker, holding him to eight points on 3-of-11 shooting in theregular season meeting -- a four-point Duke win that came down to the finalseconds.
With Mitchell keying the defensive effort on him,Parker was just 2 of 10 in the first half.
"He's special. He's strong, quick, athletic,can shoot the ball and put it on the floor," Mitchell said. "I justwanted to make sure I stayed down, kept my balance and just tried to stay infront."
Parker got hot midway through the second half andsingle-handedly kept Duke in the game, reeling off seven straight points forhis team in a 90-second span.
He went coast-to-coast and threw down a one-handeddunk on LondonPerrantes, hit a 3-pointer from the wing to briefly give Duke a one-pointlead and added a jumper off a spin move with 8½ minutes remaining.
Mitchell finished with 15 rebounds for Virginia,which led 28-25 at the end of a physical, intense first half notable for itslow shooting percentages -- and a technical foul on Krzyzewski that the Hall ofFame coach called "ridiculous" and "shameful."
Official Jamie Luckie hit Coach K with a T with2:07 left in the half when Krzyzewski, with his back to the court, tossed hisdry-erase marker toward his bench while coming out of a timeout.
There were plenty of reasons for Duke to befrustrated, yet the Blue Devils managed to keep themselves in the game despitea rough first half from its two best players: Parker and Hood were a combined 4of 18 from the field.
Parker hit a point-blank shot while falling downwith just under 16 minutes left to put Duke up 34-33 -- its first lead sincethe opening minute.
Brogdon snatched the lead right back with a jumperon Virginia's next trip down the court, and it stayed tight the rest of the wayuntil the Cavaliers' late surge.
Virginia ACC Tournament Notes (courtesty UVa athletics)
• Virginia won its second ACC Tournament championship (previous one was in 1976)
• The Cavaliers are now 2-5 in ACC Tournament finals
• Virginia posted its 28th win of the season, its most since 29 wins in 1982-83
• The Cavaliers won their 13th road/neutral game of the season, most since 18 in 1982-83
• The Cavaliers held their 21st straight opponent under 50% shooting
• Virginia has defeated all 14 ACC opponents this season
Player Career Highs
• Malcolm Brogdon scored a career-high 23 points
• Anthony Gill had career highs of 10 free throws made and 17 free throw attempts
• Akil Mitchell tied a career high with two blocks
• Malcolm Brogdon (23 pts) scored in double figures for the 26th time this season (31st time in his career)
• Joe Harris (15 pts) scored in double figures for the 22nd time this season (91st time in his career)
• Anthony Gill (12 pts) scored in double figures for the 14th time this season
• Gill scored in double figures for the fourth consecutive game (longest streak of his career)
• Akil Mitchell (15 rebs) had his sixth double-figure rebound game of the season (all against ACC opponents)
• Mitchell's 15 rebounds were his season high and the most by a Cavalier this season
• Anthony Gill's 10 FTs and 17 FTAs are both season-highs by a Virginia player
Virginia Career Record Book Update
• Joe Harris (1,654 pts) moved into 12th place on Virginia's career scoring list, passing John Crotty (1,646 pts, 1988-91)
NO. 1 VIRGINIA 72, NO. 3 DUKE 63
Virginia Coach TonyBennett
COACH BENNETT: Weneed to get on the road because the weather's getting bad so this has got to beshort and sweet because we've got to get back.
But obviously, itwas a heck of a game. I told these guys in the locker room just now, to me, thetrue joy is in how they played when the ball was tipped between the lines, howhard they played. How well they played. Not perfect. How they defended, howthey moved the ball and tried to outlast through the game. And that's it.
We'll celebrate allthis stuff later on, but that's what I liked, and you want to play good ballnow heading into the NCAA Tournament. So it's great. For these guys, who havebeen through a lot, it's a nice feeling for sure.
Q. Akil, down hereto your left, I guess, can you just discuss the challenges of playing JabariParker man to man? What did you try to do and how do you feel you playedagainst him today?
AKIL MITCHELL: He'sgoing to be a good player. He's special, strong, quick, athletic. He can shootthe ball, put it on the floor. I made sure I stayed down, kept my balance,tried to stay in front.
COACH BENNETT: Hehad 15 rebounds. I didn't know he had that many. Wow.
Q. It was a onepossession game for a lot of the second half and your team slowly but surelybuilt that lead. How proud were you of the composure of your team?
COACH BENNETT: Wekept talking about don't get sped up. Make them guard you and make them earn onthe other end. That's what they did. That's what I meant when I said to seethat unfold is what it would take. And again, they missed some bunnies. Theydid some things. But we had to earn this against that kind of team and thatkind of program.
Yep, that made it verygratifying.
Q. Joe, you playedin front of a lot of great crowds at JPJ this year, but did you expect thisoutpouring of support today? What was it like on the court hearing that?
JOE HARRIS: That wasunbelievable, to have the support that we had. We were kind of joking aroundwhen we came in, where are the Duke fans. All we could see was orange when wedrove over here. It's special to share it with the fans. They deserve it. Thecity of Charlottesville deserves an ACC tournament title. They've been extremelyloyal and very supportive ever since I've gotten to the school here.
Q. Tony, talk aboutthe history angle of this first time in 37 years.
COACH BENNETT: Solong. I think I told you that in the last press conference, that Wally Walkersaid we want some company with that team in ‘76. Just like what Joe said.Faithful fans. I think they appreciate how these guys have gone about doing it.The way they play, the kind of character they are off the court, and they'vewatched these two grow up.
To get that I've notbeen to many finals. I went to the one in ‘95. I don't know if it's always thischarged in here or this electric with the crowd noise and the atmosphere, butit sure felt special and that's a big shout out to the Cavalier fans. Becausethat was when I heard UVA when I walked out on the floor, the chant, I said arewe in John Paul Jones Arena or in Greensboro? It felt like a home crowd attimes. Duke got it going, but that was a special crowd.
Q. For the seniors,Akil and Joe, what are your emotions and what were they as the final secondswere ticking down and the fans were going crazy? How good did it feel?
AKIL MITCHELL: Itfelt amazing. It's what you dream of. It's what we wanted to do. Now we'vestill got work to do. That's all I'm really focused on now. But for the lastcouple minutes of the game, you just, you just want to close it down and startto celebrate.
JOE HARRIS: Yeah, Iwould say we've experienced a lot in our time here and this is very rewardingfor the program to get to this level. This is what we wanted to do when wefirst came here, and this is a special feeling. But at the same time, we onlyhad a short glimpse to celebrate this.
We always talk abouthow we'll celebrate our season, our careers and all that later on at some pointbecause we still have a lot of unfinished business.
Q. Malcolm, you'reabout to play one of the biggest games of your career. Last night, how do youeven go to sleep? How do you compose yourself to come out here and play so welland score 23 points and match Parker? The biggest game in at least the lastdecade or two for UVA.
MALCOLM BROGDON: Itry not to let our opponents I try not to let my mindset depend on ouropponents. I try to keep my mindset steady no matter who we play. I know I'mplaying on a really good team. I'm playing for a really good coach. I just havefaith that things will work out as they may and not try to get too up or toodown for certain games.
Q. Coach in the secondhalf, there were a couple points where Jabari almost took over the game and youalways had an answer specifically from Joe. What did you think about thosestretches and how important some of the buckets Joe had were?
COACH BENNETT: Bigtime players making big time plays. When Akil was off, out, and that's not aslap in the face to anybody else, but you could see he could get going. Theystarted running a little four to five ball screen or five to four and they tookadvantage of that.
You have to answerin a game like this. I'd love to say we had this stuff diagrammed that we gotthe shots we needed. The players made the plays. Joe, Malcolm, Akil, therebounds, the plays were significant. Just watching how hard Joe was moving offthe ball, I saw it in the Florida State game yesterday. That was good to see.
He's got to feel, Isaid that to you guys before, when to step up, when to be assertive and when tolet it come. I think that's a strength of his.
Q. Coach, when youthink of the things that you value in basketball, whether it was player, coach,has there ever been a group you've been associated with that reflects thosethings any better than this?
COACH BENNETT:They're as good as it gets. We've still got work to do. I've been a part of alot of good teams. I don't want to slight those. I saw that the year I was avolunteer manager for my dad's Final Four team. That's how they came together.
Here's what's uniqueabout these guys that's different. And we still have work to do. How they'vesustained it from start to finish. Conference play to now. That's different.And so that, I take my hat off to knowing there's still stuff in front of us.That's what I appreciate.
Q. Tony, you talkedabout there's more work to do. Have you been able to reflect at all duringthese last 15 minutes about this accomplishment or are you just trying not todo that at all?
COACH BENNETT:Definitely enjoyed it. I told you I loved the game, but we'll relive all thisstuff later. We need rest. We need to get rested up and ready to go for what'snext.
Yeah, that momentwhen you're on the floor, you see your wife, you see your parents, you see thejoy in these guys' eyes and hearts. That's gratifying as anything. I soak thatup without a doubt. I gave thanks certainly for all that's happened, as I said,through the tough times, through the good times.
Q. Coach, youtouched on this a little bit, I think, but when you look at the team that hadthe two technicals and the team that was able to hold on in the end, do youfeel like your team was more poised and, if so, why?
COACH BENNETT: Idon't know more. Our guys played with great composure. We needed that. I don'tknow what happened with the technicals. I didn't see it. But the mark of a teamto win a championship and a conference tournament, you have to play with thatkind of poise, composure down the stretch.
We even shrugged offmissing some free throws. But yeah, they certainly did that, and I like thatbecause you need that in tournament play. It's so important.
They haven't gottenflustered. That's been a trademark of them all year.
Q. Tony, AnthonyGill put tremendous pressure on Duke around the basket. How large was he in thegame plan coming in? Did you think he would need to play well?
COACH BENNETT: Hegot to the line 17 times. Yeah, he was really on the glass. He was getting it,attacking, and he has that ability. We saw that in practices last year. We knewhe'd be important because he could get going that way, and he draws fouls. Isaid that all year. He just knows how to get contact and draw fouls.
Q. Tony, first ofall, did your dad stick around for today?
COACH BENNETT: Hedid. He told my wife he wasn't coming in the morning and told her about 30minutes later, "I am going to come." I didn't know if he was going to be thereor not. We left him a ticket. To start the game, I saw him a couple times puthis hands in his head when we missed a free throw or something.
I'm glad he was there.I know he loves these guys for what they stand for and he's going to appreciatehow hard nosed and tough they were.
Q. You were talkingabout history a little while ago, but I'm not sure if you're aware of it ornot. This is the first time in the history of this conference, 61 years, thatyou've gone three straight years with a non North Carolina team winning thetournament championship. With Florida State winning, Miami and now you guys, ifthat helps the perception of the league outside of the geographic footprintthat it's more than just Carolina and Duke?
COACH BENNETT: Imean, I hope so because there's great teams besides those storied programs.With Louisville coming in next year, and the teams that have are in this year,it's a monster. It really is. So that's why to get it and, yeah, I didn't knowthat for the last three years. Thinking about it, it is. That's special but, itshows you the stranglehold those schools have had on it. Our job is to pry itaway.
Q. Joe, I know youwant to celebrate later, but what does winning the MVP of this tournament mean?Nobody from Virginia's done that since Wally Walker.
COACH BENNETT:Northwest guy too.
JOE HARRIS: Yeah. Hewas in Seattle. I didn't put much thought in it. I didn't expect it or anythinglike that at all. I was more concerned about trying to get the tournamentchampionship. That was my main concern. All the individual stuff, that's just Imean, I don't put much thought into it.
Q. Akil, talk aboutthe last time you went back in on Jabari and I think Coach Bennett referred toit that said that he'd been going off there for a while. Did you tell yourselfyou had to shut him down?
AKIL MITCHELL: Imean, there was no pressure on me to shut him down. My teammates, they knew thatI was capable of the job and they kept telling me to just do my best and thenlock him up and the kind of stuff my team is supposed to do. I just went outthere and gave my best.
You know, he misseda couple of contested shots and from there, I think I was able to frustratehim.
Q. I'll piggybackoff that. Did you have a specific defensive game plan, you personally, forJabari or do you play the same kind of defense no matter who you're facing?
AKIL MITCHELL: It'sgot to be the same defense against everybody. With a guy like that, soaggressive and so skilled, you have to be more on your toes. You've got to be alittle bit more ready for the jump shot and the drive. So I just try to be intwo different places at one time, and I don't know. I felt like my teammateshad my back and I just gave it my all.
Q. What's thisteam's mindset going into the NCAA Tournament? Do you feel like you've maybeproven you can be a one seed in a couple hours and how will you guys handle thenext week in getting ready for the NCAA tournament?
MALCOLM BROGDON: Ithink we would, of course, like to be a one seed like anybody. I don't thinkour focus is really on that. The fact that we're going in the NCAA regardless,it means a lot to us, and we're going to focus on going there and competingagainst whoever we play. That's really the mindset we have going on now. We'regoing to try to enjoy this tonight but move on tomorrow and get back to work.
Q. Malcolm, what wasthe team's mindset in the last two or three minutes? You had the lead, but itseemed like you were still looking to score. I'm thinking of your layup thatmade it 66 60 with a minute left. What were you thinking out there? What wasthe game plan at that point?
MALCOLM BROGDON: Thegame plan was to take care of the ball. In that situation, you still want toremain aggressive. But we had to get stops. Every close game we play in, itcomes down to getting stops in our defense and I feel like that's what wethrive on doing and that's what we did tonight.
MODERATOR: Any otherquestions? Thank you.
COACH BENNETT: Thankyou.
JOE HARRIS: Thankyou.
AKIL MITCHELL: Thankyou.
MALCOLM BROGDON:Thank you.
NO. 1 VIRGINIA 72, NO. 3 DUKE 63
Duke Coach MikeKrzyzewski
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Iwant to congratulate Virginia. It was an amazingly physical game. Both teamswanted it so hard, so much. They were poised. They finished better than we did.Obviously, they got to the foul line a helluva lot better than we did. And they'rejust a good team.
And we have a goodteam. Our kids fought like crazy. It's their third game in 40 hours. We had ahard time finishing and getting to the foul line when we didn't.
The heart of ourteam was great. Our kids played with great heart. So going forward into theNCAA Tournament, I think these three games have really helped us get on toanother level. I'm excited about our group and proud of them. Any questions?
Q. Mike, when youwatched Jabari in the second half, it seemed like he was demanding the ballmore and kind of trying to take that role of taking over. Do you feel likethat's a point in his development?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:No, he's done that. He took 24 shots and only three free throws. Part of hisdevelopment is, when he makes those moves, is to finish, get fouled, not getfouled, you know what I mean. I mean, his should be a combination. Jabariplayed his butt off. He was relentless in trying to get things in.
We were almostthere. We were right there, in spite of not being able to finish. So it'sdisappointing. But Jabari, I mean, that's what we want him to do.
Q. For Jabari andRodney, can you talk about what it was like to face that Virginia defense?
JABARI PARKER: Ithink we kind of just rushed. We were just so anxious to get on the offensiveend once we tried to get down and get their momentum on my side. But I couldhave did a better job myself, gathering myself and getting to the free throwline, but it didn't help me out.
RODNEY HOOD: I thinkthey're a really good defensive team. But at the same time, I think we got alot of looks. Some is going to haunt me tonight, but I think we got the ball inthe paint. We played, we shared the ball. They're a great defensive team, but Ithink we got enough looks to change the game and we just didn't finish.
Q. Mike, I wascurious, in both halves, it was a very long time before you even attempted athree. Was that a function of defense or a game plan thing?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:They take it away a lot. We felt driving the ball and trying to get to the foulline was the way to go. If you drove and kicked, then you would get a betterthree point shot because they're a heck of a defensive team. So actually, itwas the best that we've driven the ball for a long time today, because you haveto drive through a strong defense. And our guys were doing that.
Q. Jabari, what isit about Akil Mitchell that makes him such a good one on one defender and whatare the challenges of going up against him today?
JABARI PARKER: He'sathletic and he anticipates a lot on the defensive end. I kind of read him inthe second half and kind of shied away and put him off the hook and I didn'tlisten to Coach like he was telling me to not settle. I started settling, but Icould have just kept on going. He's a good defensive player and he should beone of the greatest defensive players in Virginia history.
Q. Coach, can youexplain that technical in the first half?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Ihave no clue. None.
Q. The video showed you throwing a pen?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:Yeah, but you can throw a clipboard too. I didn't do it in reaction toanything. I can hit my head on the floor. I can do a handstand. I can tumble,as long as it's not a reaction to anybody.
There's no way thatthere should be a technical foul on that. I mean, that was ridiculous.Absolutely ridiculous. Shameful. Shameful.
Q. Coach, thisparticular opponent, it seems to symbolize a lot of the same things you've beenkind of preaching at Duke for a long, long time. The teamwork, theunselfishness, the conditioning, the defense. Can you just elaborate on whatyou see in UVA along those lines?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI: Isee all the things that you just said. I mean, they did it. You answered yourquestion well. I mean, I admire them. I think they're a helluva basketballteam. They've had a great season, great kids, unselfish. They're one of thebest teams in the country. They've done that in a consistent manner.
They've been healthytoo. So they haven't had bumps in the road and so they keep getting a littlebit better all the time.
Q. Jabari, with allthe state titles you won in high school, just dealing with a postseason loss,how does it feel and how will that kind of change your approach of goingforward, knowing what this feeling is like?
JABARI PARKER: Now,zero and zero, you got to move on. I don't get a second chance anymore. Thepoint of emphasis has to come on me and Rodney. We have to lead our team.That's what it's going to take to win.
In the past, I lostcity championships, but I changed my mentality to get a state championship. Iknow it's going to be twice as hard.
Q. Jabari, therewere a couple of different points in the second half where it seemed like youwere about to take the game over and they always had an answer, mostly in theperson of Joe Harris. What did you think of his performance and how did herespond to some of the things you did out there?
JABARI PARKER: As awhole, UVA did a real good job in executing their offense. They're a good team,a great team. They should be really good coming into the tournament and Iapplaud them. There are some things I could have done better out there.
Q. Mike, you'vespoken out about Harris in the past. What do you see in Brogdon? How muchdifference has he made for the team?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:Brogdon's first team all league player. He's steady, kind of unflappable, andso strong. Strong mentally and obviously strong physically. He and Harris aretwo kids that they're two men. They don't make many mistakes and you can counton them on every possession.
Those two andMitchell give you three of the better players in the country on one team.
Q. Mike, you've beenpretty outspoken over the years about the respect that the ACC gets. This isnow three years in a row you've had three different teams, Florida State,Miami, and now Virginia have won this championship. What do you think that willdo, different teams other than Carolina and Duke winning this, maybe to broadenpeople's perspective and awareness of the league?
COACH KRZYZEWSKI:Hasn't done anything yet. Should I tell Roy the two of us should keep losing? Idon't think it comes from us. I think it comes from all of you who cover ourleague to make sure that the league is given the respect that it deserves. It's not up to thecoaches.