New York City - Based on the makeup of UVa, an NCAA Tournament run was only going to come to an end if they played a formidable foe. When Coach Tony Bennett saw the bracket he said:
Tony Bennett, VIRGINIA HEAD COACH, said "I hope we get the chance to play Michigan State so I guess be careful what you hope for or wish for but I knew, Michigan State as a 4 seed. That's a really good 4 seed but I wanted this chance. This was good for our program."
The Spartans found some cracks in UVa's defense early. The Cavs trailed by 10 but came back to take the lead in the first half. However, a Michigan State steal and dunk helped give the Spartans a 4-point lead at the break.
In the second half Michigan State's 2 main post players - Adreian Payne and Branden Dawson took over. They combined for 40 points. UVa's 3 main post players - Akil Mitchell, Anthony Gill, and Mike Tobey - had 11.
Malcolm Brogdon, 17 POINTS IN UVA LOSS, said "Their shot makers. Their scorers made plays. They simply made shots and it came down to making shots at the end of the game."
UVa had more rebounds and less turnovers but a 35 percent shooting night prevented the Cavs from advancing. A Joe Harris three with 39 seconds left got UVa within 2.
After a missed free throw UVa had one last second shot for a win but Justin Anderson's heave came up short and the Cavs lost 61-59.
Justin Anderson, VIRGINIA SOPHOMORE GUARD, said "I felt good about it. It just needed a little more arc, it would have had a better chance maybe. I just can't believe it's over."
London Perrantes, VIRGINIA FRESHMAN POINT GUARD, said "We left it all out there on the court. We didn't play as well offensively as we could have but we all have off games."
Joe Harris, 17 POINTS IN HIS FINAL UVA GAME, said "It just hit a lot of guys all at once that this will be the last time that Akil and Tom and I are going to be playing with Virginia and being a part of this program, being a part of this team and it's tough because we really haven't thought about anything like that at all."
Akil Mitchell, VIRGINIA SENIOR FORWARD, said "We're the type of group you don't want to stop coaching because it's such a special year and it has been such a special year. It stings right now but we've accomplished some things this year that no one can take away from us."
30 wins is nothing to be disappointed about. The Cavaliers have a lot of talent coming back but Bennett did acknowledge - Joe Harris and Akil Mitchell will be hard to replace.