Virginia beats UNC-Wilmington 76-71, advances to NCAA Tourney second round
ORLANDO, FL (WSET) - Virginia rallied from 15 down in the first half, then held off a hard-charging UNC-Wilmington 76-71 Thursday afternoon in round one of the NCAA East Regional in Orlando.
London Perrantes and Marial Shayok carried Virginia. Perrantes scored a game-high 24 points, Marial Shayok added a career-high 23 off the bench as the fifth-seeded Cavaliers avoid the infamous 12/5 upset on the first big day of the tournament.
Perrantes scored 19 of his points in the second half as the Cavaliers (23-10) got their slow-paced offense going. Perrantes scored his biggest bucket of the game on a driving bank shot with 1:37 left to increase UVa's lead to 71-66.
UNCW (29-6), coached by Lynchburg native Kevin Keatts, wouldn't go away, though. Chris Flemmings drained a 3-pointer from the elbow and then Devontae Cacok hit a layup to make it 73-71 with less than a minute to play.
But Shayok hit a huge runner on the other end with less than 30 seconds left that gave the Cavs some breathing room in the closing stages.
Virginia advances past the first round for the fourth straight year and wins as a No. 5 seed for the first time in four tries.
The Cavaliers move on to second-round play on Saturday.