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Marvin Bagley plays above the rim, No. 1 UVA continues its strong 3-point defense and more from this week’s AP Top 25

After conference play wraps up, a new AP Poll is out as the ACC heads up to Brooklyn. Virginia ends the regular season ranked No. 1. This the fourth straight week UVA is ranked tops in the nation.

  • No. 1 Virginia
  • No. 5 Duke
  • No. 12 North Carolina
  • No. 19 Clemson
  • No. 24 Miami

 

Quick Observation

  • In his second game back, Bonzie Colson did his thing (24 points, 15 rebounds), but No. 1 Virginia was once again suffocating on defense. The Cavs held the Irish to just 0.95 points per possession, according to KenPom, and 7-of-24 shooting on three-point attempts.
    • This the 16th time this season (in 30 games) UVA has held an opponent to 30 percent or worse shooting from beyond the arc. Also: 10 of those opponents were ACC teams. Including transition and half-court possessions, Notre Dame went just 6-of-17 in spot-up possessions against the Cavs, per Synergy Sports.
  • It’s no surprise who keyed Duke’s comeback victory over North Carolina on Saturday: stud freshman Marvin Bagley. The Blue Devils scored 49 points in the second half (+20 over UNC); Bagley was instrumental throughout. Most of his damage was done at the rim, too — which, again, no real surprise. According to Synergy, Bagley shot 6-of-6 on field goal attempts after a cut — for 13 points.
    • For the season: Marvin Bagley finished No. 1 in the ACC in efficiency on cut possessions — 1.5 points per possession, 80.3 FG%. Only Luke Maye had more total cut points (112) than Bagley (111).
  • One of the larger issues for North Carolina’s defense this season has been the defense of the three-point line; this prompted Roy Williams to adjust his defense about a month ago, and play a less-aggressive/more-sagging approach. However, in UNC’s two losses this week — Miami, at Duke — both opponents shot above 50 percent on two-point attempts. The Canes and Blue Devils went a combined 42-of-77 (54.5 FG%) on two-point field goals.
    • In the loss at Duke, led by Marvin Bagley, the Blue Devils shot 14-of-26 (53.8 FG%) on attempts around the basket. The Heels play small frequently, but aren’t a bad shot-blocking team (11.9 percent block rate). Against Miami and Duke, though, UNC block a total of just seven shots (9.1 percent of two point field goals).
  • Powered by its 2-3 zone, Syracuse ranks 11th nationally in adjusted defensive efficiency; in the regular season finale, Clemson was the team’s most recent prey. Marcquise Reed was outstanding (21 points on 13 FGA) — so, too, was Elijah Thomas — but the rest of the Tigers struggled.
    • Shelton Mitchell and Gabe DeVoe shot a combined 2-of-17 from the field, and outside of Reed, the rest of the Tigers went 0-of-9 from beyond the arc. According to Sports Reference, Mitchell became just the 8th player this season to play all 40 minutes in a game and score zero points.
  • One of the challenges for Miami on offense this season: Inconsistent free throw shooting. So far this season, the Canes have connected on 66.6 percent of their free throw attempts; that’s the worst rate of any ACC team, and a decline from 2016-17 — 71.8 percent.
    • According to Sports Reference: Miami, Michigan and Arkansas are the only three Power 5 schools to have shot below 67 percent from the free throw line, and win 20 regular season games.

 

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