When the first half in Blacksburg ended, Virginia was up 26 – 11 (!!!) and Mamadi Diakite had singlehandedly outscored Tech with 13 points. Basketball, though, is a game of two halves and Virginia got whipped in the second half, as once again, the Cavaliers failed to put together a comprehensive performance. For the second game in a row, Virginia allowed an opponent to have a good-look 3-point attempt that could have won the game.
A win is a win is a win. For the second straight game, it looked like Virginia was trying to give the game away. For the second straight game, Virginia prevailed, and in doing so, locked up the 4th seed and the double bye for the ACC tournament. And sweeping Tech? Brilliant.
42 points. For the fourth time in 6 games, Virginia has allowed 42+ points in a single half. It’s one thing to give up 44 points to a Louisville team that played one of the best halves in college basketball this season when we traveled to Louisville, but it is another thing altogether to allow Notre Dame, Boston College and now Virginia Tech to drop 42 or more points in a half. The D was in disarray much of the second half as Virginia defenders struggled with screens and switching and performing the most basic function of the Pack Line: staying in front of your man. After a half in which they shot 1 – 13 from 3, the Hokies made 8 - 14 from beyond the arc in the second half.
nothing better than a silenced Cassell Coliseum https://t.co/4rnwNQcybd— NATIONAL CHAMPION HOO CREW (@Hoo_Crew) February 27, 2020
Braxton Key at the free-throw line. There’s no doubt: Key has a bad case of the yips at the line, and every attempt is an adventure. As Steve Sax, Chuck Knoblaugh and legions of golfers will tell you, there is no silver bullet for overcoming the yips. It’s not like Key is going to be able to shoot 100 frees after every practice and will himself out this quagmire. He’s going to have the yips until, almost miraculously, they go away. Hopefully it happens at some point in this season.
Tomas Woldetensae. The surge in Virginia’s offensive efficiency over the past 8 games or so has largely been fueled by Woldetensae’s shooting prowess. This was not a good game for Tomas (1 – 6 from deep) and it seems he infected Morsell as well (1 – 5). Key has been all over the map this season, so we’re back to only 2 real threats when Woldetensae struggles. One overlooked fact: Woldetensae is perfect from the free throw line this year—and he looked very confident when he shot, and made a pair of FTs down the stretch – and we need to get him there more often.
Rewatch Kihie’s shot, It was gutsy shot for Clark, and maybe not the shot I would have called, but just like Ty Jerome keeping the ball for the last shot at Duke two years ago, this shot was all about Kihei. And Clark stroked the ball perfectly.