(1) Virginia 70, (16) Coastal Carolina 59
GAME NOTES, THOUGHTS, AND OBSERVATIONS
-A win is a win. Freshman point guard London Perrantes told me "it may have been ugly but we got a 'W'." UVa was taken out of its comfort zone in the first half. They allowed too many open shots and easy baskets.
-Players told me a visit to the locker room at halftime was the best thing that happened to them. They told themselves that it was a 0-0 game (UVa trailed 35-30 at halftime) and that they just had to return to normal UVa basketball and they would be fine. That theory proved true.
-Turner Networks apparently don't care for Virginia media. UVa played the late, late game Friday night and will play at 8:40 p.m. on TNT Sunday against Memphis. This is a nightmare for TV media because it doesn't allow us to provide live coverage and postgame reaction from the team during our 11 p.m. newscast. We'll have the latest on wset.com and video coverage on Good Morning Virginia Monday morning.
-Evan Nolte was clutch. He's rarely used but came through when history was resting on UVa's shoulders. He connected on three straight shots (two three-pointers and mid-range jump shot) during the second half. Every player we talked to praised Nolte for stepping up in a time of need. I asked Nolte if his name and 'clutch' go well together in a sentence. He brushed it off and said he was just trying to shoot with confidence.
-Anthony Gill plays with physical tenacity. At points in the game you could tell he was saying, 'I'm going to take the ball to the rim when I get the ball.' He told me after the game that he believes that approach can elevate the team's overall play.
-In regards to a 16 seed ever beating a 1 seed, Tony Bennett said 'it's college basketball.' The level of parity has increased substantially over the past decade and Coastal Carolina "is a good team."
-On a lighter note, Coastal has an assistant coach that's a larger version of former UVa assistant football coach and Jefferson Forest Cavalier Anthony Poindexter. Click HERE to see a picture of Mamadou N'Diaye.