- The Washington Times - Monday, March 11, 2019

A newly cemented power in a historic basketball conference, Virginia, will be the No. 1 seed in the ACC Tournament for the fourth time in six years.

Virginia shared the regular season title with North Carolina for identical 16-2 conference records. But the Cavaliers won the tiebreaker thanks to head-to-head record. The two teams met only once, and Virginia prevailed 69-61 in Chapel Hill.

North Carolina thus was given the No. 2 seed, and Duke, who faltered late in the season without the help of injured Zion Williamson, picked up the No. 3.

These teams and No. 4 Florida State earned a double bye in the ACC Tournament and don’t have to play until Thursday in Charlotte, North Carolina.

Virginia will play its first game Thursday at 12:30 p.m. against the winner of No. 8 NC State and No. 9 Clemson.

Virginia (28-2, 16-2) was swept in its season series with Duke (while Williamson was healthy) and went 28-0 against all other competition. The Cavaliers are also defending conference tourney champions; they won last year’s affair in Brooklyn on their way to picking up a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.

Everyone remembers what happened next. UMBC became the first No. 16 seed to beat a No. 1 in one of the most improbable upsets in recent sports history.

The Cavaliers figure to make it further than that in this year’s national tournament. They are in play for a No. 1 seed again, but an early upset in the ACC Tournament could harm their chances.

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