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Tony Bennett: Virginia players began fighting at halftime

Tony Bennett VirginiaVirginia beat Coastal Carolina 70-59 on Friday night in their first-round NCAA Tournament game, but it was not a smooth contest for the Cavaliers.

Virginia, the top-seeded team in the East Region following a 29-6 showing in the regular season, trailed 35-30 at halftime and for some time appeared to be in danger of becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16 seed. The first-half performance even had the Cavs players fighting at halftime.

“At halftime, there was a little bit of bickering going on,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett told TBS’ Rachel Nichols after the game.

“We said, ‘listen, stay unified. We’ve come this far by staying together and not fracturing and now’s not the time. We need to play with more desire defensively and soundness, and let’s just really stay together and not panic.’”

Bennett’s advice worked. Coastal Carolina kept it close until about eight minutes left, which is when Virginia began to pull away.

Maybe Virginia started to play better defense in the second half, or maybe Coastal just started missing some of the contested shots they made earlier in the game. It’s awfully hard to play 40 good minutes of offense against that defense.

Tony Bennett compares Virginia crowd to Taylor Swift concert

Tony-BennettVirginia dominated Syracuse on Saturday to win its first ACC championship in 33 years. The Cavaliers cruised their way to a 75-56 victory with the help of an enthusiastic crowd that was deafening at times. How loud were the fans? Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said he felt like he was at a Taylor Swift concert.

“That crowd defensively, it was special how intense it was in there and the passion you got from it,” Bennett said, via CSNWashington.com. “The last time I heard it that loud I was at the Taylor Swift concert.”

Bennett said he attended a Taylor Swift concert at John Paul Jones Arena before and was envious of the crowd noise.

“I sat there and there’s, you know, 14,000 teenage girls screaming and i remember sitting there like, ‘I wonder if we can get it like this for a game,’” he said. “And I’ll tell you something it either rivaled it or surpassed it. Sorry, Taylor. It was that good.”

Imagine trying to play basketball in front of this?

No wonder Syracuse got waxed.