- Associated Press - Sunday, March 13, 2016

WASHINGTON (AP) - Malcolm Brogdon didn’t waver even as he missed shot after shot. Virginia’s leading scorer and the ACC player of the year kept driving and throwing up shots.

“You have to believe the next shot is going in,” Brogdon said. “That’s all that’s really going through your mind.”

More often than not, it didn’t for Brogdon, who was 6 of 22 from the floor as the fourth-ranked Cavaliers fell to seventh-ranked North Carolina 61-57 on Saturday night in the ACC Tournament championship game.

When Brogdon went ice cold and missed three shots during Virginia’s 8-minute field-goal drought, the Tar Heels went on a 15-2 run to pull away.

Brogdon defended his shot selection after one of his worst shooting performances of the season.

“I drive a lot, I get a lot of baskets inside, but they have bigs that challenge shots,” said Brogdon, who finished with 15 points. “You’ve got to pick your shots differently. But today I had a lot of open shots. I just missed. I just missed a lot of shots.”

Brogdon took more than a third of Virginia’s shots. Coach Tony Bennett’s team got to this point with the ball in Brogdon’s hands, but this was different with UNC’s Marcus Paige blanketing him.

“I just tried to make everything tough on him and tried to pressure him,” Paige said. “I know I’m not very big, so I tried to use my quickness to bother him.”

Brogdon didn’t look noticeably bothered, but it showed. At one point Virginia (26-7) missed 11 consecutive shots, and guard London Perrantes kept missing, too, going 3 of 14.

Offensively-potent North Carolina put together one of its best defensive showings, but Virginia players were eager to put them blame on themselves.

“It’s just one of those games,” Perrantes said. “We got a lot of shots that we usually take and make. I don’t know if maybe our legs weren’t underneath all of us or anything like that.”

Sophomore forward Isaiah Wilkins said UNC “amped up the pressure since the teams’ last meeting Feb. 27, which Virginia won 79-74.

The Cavaliers’ locker room was quiet with dejected players sitting hunched over at their stalls as the Tar Heels (28-6) celebrated their first ACC Tournament title since 2008. But knowing the quality of their season made players upbeat about what’s to come.

“We are moving forward with momentum,” Brogdon said. “We didn’t win this tournament championship, but we have momentum regardless.”

ONE MORE

UNC coach Roy Williams said he believes Virginia deserves to be a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament. It’s to say Brogdon agrees.

“Absolutely I think we’re deserving of it, but I’m not saying that we’re going to get it,” Brogdon said. “Regardless of the seeding, we’re going to go in and we’re going to try to impose our will on whoever we play with whatever seeding we have.”

TIP-INS

Virginia: Take out Brogdon and Perrantes and the rest of the team shot 14 of 27 from the floor. … Forward Anthony Gill joined Brogdon in double figures with 13 points on 5 of 8 shooting.

North Carolina: Joel Berry II led the Tar Heels with 19 points. He was 3 of 3 from 3-point range. … Scored its fewest points of the season. … Ended a four-year run of teams from outside the state of North Carolina winning the ACC Tournament.

UP NEXT

Virginia: NCAA Tournament

North Carolina: NCAA Tournament.

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