No. 1 Virginia advanced to its third ACC tournament title game in the last five seasons with a 64-58 win over No. 19 Clemson on Friday night at Barclays Center in Brooklyn, N.Y.
Virginia will face North Carolina in the final on Saturday night. The Cavaliers won the only head-to-head meeting against the Tar Heels, beating UNC 61-49 on Jan. 6.
The Cavaliers led by as many as 14 in the second half before fourth-seeded Clemson closed the gap late to make things interesting. Two Devon Hall free throws in the game’s final 13 seconds gave Virginia (30-2) a six-point lead and the win.
Clemson (23-9) was held to just 34.7 percent shooting for the game, including going 5-for-25 from the 3-point line. Shelton Mitchell scored eight of his 18 points in the second half. Elijah Thomas put in 13 of his 15 points in the second half, which included the first nine for the Tigers in the period before he put himself in foul trouble.
Virginia shot 46.7 percent on the night and got 26 points in the paint, including eight from center Jack Salt, who is rarely an offensive threat. Salt also added eight rebounds, as the Cavaliers outrebounded the Tigers 37-32.
Kyle Guy led Virginia in scoring for the second straight night as he put in 15 points while Hall and Mamadi Diakite added 10 points apiece.
Clemson grabbed a seven-point lead midway through the first half after hitting on four of its first five shots and holding Virginia to under 30 percent shooting to start.
The Cavaliers wiped the lead away quickly, as Clemson was held scoreless for a stretch of more than eight minutes to allow Virginia to gain control.
After holding the Tigers to 35 percent shooting, Virginia took a 32-23 lead into the halftime break. Guy put in 11 first-half points to pace the Cavaliers.
Mitchell scored 10 points in the half for Clemson.
—Field Level Media