- Associated Press - Saturday, March 22, 2014

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) - Coastal Carolina did enough in the first half to allow the Chanticleers to believe they could become the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 seed in the NCAA tournament.

They just couldn’t keep knocking down the shots that had given them a halftime lead once Virginia stepped up its defense.

Coastal Carolina shot 32 percent after halftime in Friday night’s 70-59 loss in the second round of the East Region, a reversal from a first half that saw the Chanticleers cut through the Cavaliers’ normally stingy defense to shoot 52 percent.

“We felt real good at halftime,” guard Eric Smith said. “We did a good job early on following the game plan, which was to control the boards, take good shots when we get them.”

The Chanticleers led by 10 in the first half and five at halftime before Virginia took over.

“They played tremendous defense, especially the second half,” coach Cliff Ellis said. “They really took us out of what we wanted to do.”

For Virginia, Anthony Gill scored 17 points and the Cavaliers pushed ahead for good with about 9 minutes left.

A No. 16 seed has never beaten a No. 1 since the tournament expanded to 64 teams in 1985, and the Cavs (29-6) ensured history would wait at least another year.

Evan Nolte came off the bench and hit two huge 3-pointers to help Virginia finally push away from the Big South champion Chanticleers (21-13), who were in the tournament for the first time in 21 years.

The game was tied at 47 before Nolte’s 3s powered a 23-7 spurt that finally put the game away.

Virginia advanced to Sunday’s third round to face No. 8 seed Memphis.

In many ways, the second half was a perfect illustration of the formula that carried the Cavaliers to their first Atlantic Coast Conference tournament since 1976 and the program’s first No. 1 seed since the days of Ralph Sampson.

After struggling to slow the hot-shooting Chanticleers early, the Cavaliers locked down on defense while improving their own offensive efficiency to slowly take control.

Virginia shot 65 percent (13 for 20) after halftime- including 6 for 10 from 3-point range - while locking down on Coastal Carolina.

Malcolm Brogdon scored 10 of his 14 points after halftime, but the Cavaliers got some of their biggest contributions from the bench.

Story Continues →