There's no doubt about it.
This year's Virginia Cavaliers team is the best the ACC has to offer. They ran the gamut of the regular season with just 2 losses, and yesterday led by London Perrantes, Joe Harris, Malcolm Brogdon and Anthony Gill they finished off Duke in the Tourney Final to cap a dominant and special season.
But who would win if these two teams squared off?
Well SOTU went to our magic simulation lab (whatifsports.com) to bring you the answer.
Recap and Box Score below:
2013 Hurricanes hold off 2014 Hoos 68-63 Behind Kadji, Scott
UM started the game on a 7-0 run. With UVA's pack line defense most concerned about protecting the rim, Kenny Kadji knocked down two open jumpers, including one from distance to spark the run.
Tony Bennett's squad settled down though, and Malcolm Brogdon first drove past ACC Defensive Player of the Year Durand Scott for a layup, then hit Joe Harris on a back door play to slice into the lead.
In one wild sequence Shane Larkin chased down London Perrantes to steal the ball from behind and toss it ahead to Rion Brown for a two-handed dunk and his only basket of the game, only to see the Hoos gutty freshman PG answer right back with a three ball on the other end. Watching these two go at it was fun all day long.
The early pace was much more to Miami's liking, as Coach Larranaga encouraged Larkin and Scott to push the pace at every opportunity, and UM built an early 24-16 lead.
Scott rotated between guarding Brogdon and Joe Harris and whichever player he wasn't guarding was finding shots at will, to keep Virginia in it.
A medium range jumper from Scott and Kadji's third triple of the half kept the 'Canes in front though, 33-28 at the intermission.
At the start of the second half, it was obvious that Bennett was no longer going to let Kadji beat them, as UVA switched time and time again on UM's high ball screens to prevent the 6'11 forward from getting good open looks. The result though, was clean looks for Shane Larkin, and he capitalized with a drive and a jumper to build the lead back to 8.
Through out the second half the Hurricanes tried to pound the ball down low to Reggie Johnson, but Akil Mitchell and Mike Tobey held their ground nicely, and after a turnover leading to a transition three for Harris, UVA cut the lead to 45-42 halfway though the final 20 minutes.
Virginia seemed to have momentum, until Larkin first found Scott underneath for a lay in and then hit Kadji on an alley hoop to keep Miami ahead.
Down the stretch the "Canes denied Harris and Brogdon many good looks, but the Hoos never folded.
The intensity of the game was palpable as Julian Gamble and Anthony Gill exchanged glares after one hotly contested rebound at the 5 minute mark.
Virginia got as close as 2 in the final minutes, but Harris missed a highly contested jumper with a minute and a half to go and Larkin hit 5 of 6 clutch FTs down the stretch to seal it.
Let the simulated celebration begin in Coral Gables.
* - denotes game starter
|12-13 Miami (FL)|
|Trey McKinney Jones*||28||3-6||1-2||0-1||4||0||0||2||1||2||7|