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No. 21 Virginia visits Virginia Tech seeking to boost tourney hopes



Virginia coach Tony Bennett knows the NCAA Tournament selection committee may be stingy toward the Atlantic Coast Conference on Selection Sunday.ESPN’s Joe Lunardi projected Friday that the ACC will seed four teams in next month’s tournament, while other experts believe that only three teams will qualify.But Bennett believes his No. 21 Cavaliers (20-6, 11-4 ACC), who have won nine of 10 games, are in a favorable position to make the tournament ahead of their clash with archrival Virginia Tech (14-11, 6-8) on Monday in Blacksburg, Va.”Our job is to fight like crazy to not disqualify ourselves,” Bennett said after his team’s home win over Wake Forest on Saturday.”… You better play at a high level, and all the games left are that, but common sense should prevail when it comes to the selection committee.”Lunardi agrees. His latest bracket forecasts Virginia earning an at-large bid.While ugly, the Cavaliers’ 49-47 victory over the Demon Deacons strengthened Virginia’s resume with a quality win against a fellow tournament contender.Saturday’s win also featured a characteristically stout defensive effort from a Cavaliers unit that had struggled over its last two outings. After allowing over 70 points in consecutive games for the first time this season, Virginia clamped down and limited Wake Forest to its season-low scoring output.Sophomore guard Ryan Dunn registered seven blocks, the most in a game this season by an ACC player, as the Cavaliers swatted a season-high 13 shots against Wake Forest.Dunn’s ACC-best 2.4 blocks and team-leading 7.0 rebounds per game have solidified him as the anchor of a defense that surrenders the third-fewest points per game in Division I (58.4).”When he’s dialed in, I trust him against anybody,” guard Reece Beekman said of Dunn.Beekman leads Virginia with 14.2 points per game and leads the AC with 6.0 assists and 2.3 steals per game. The senior supplied 16 points in the Cavaliers’ 65-57 home win over the Hokies on Jan. 17.