For the fourth time in five seasons, No. 1 Virginia will play in the semifinals of the ACC Tournament after dispatching Louisville for the third time this season 75-58 in Thursday's semifinals from Brooklyn, N.Y.
Friday's first of two semifinal matchups will pit the Cavaliers against fourth-seeded Clemson, who ended Boston College's Cinderella run with a 90-82 win on Thursday.
The Tigers (23-8), one of the ACC's original members, have never won an ACC Tournament title and will be looking to upset the tournament and nation's top team.
Virginia (29-2) suffocated Clemson 61-36 in Charlottesville back in late January, easily the Tigers' worst game of the season. The Tigers shot just 32 percent for the game, which included 3 of 20 from beyond the arc.
"I mean, they just do everything really well," Clemson head coach Brad Brownell said of Virginia. "They're unbelievably sound. Tony (Bennett) is obviously as good a coach as there is in our game."
Clemson scored just 13 second-half points in that matchup.
The Cavaliers' defense continues to be the story of the season but a hot offense found their way to Barclays Center on Thursday as Virginia shot 52.5 percent against Louisville. Five players scored in double figures led by Kyle Guy, who put in 19 points despite playing with a bulky brace on his left knee after suffering a sprained MCL last Saturday against Notre Dame.
"I've felt really good actually in practice," Guy said after Thursday's game. "It took a while to get used to wearing a brace, but I felt fine from tip-off. Maybe it just took a minute to get in a groove."
Clemson fought off a pesky Boston College team that was looking for their third win in as many days to advance to the semifinals. Guard Gabe DeVoe scored a game-high 25 points while Shelton Mitchell scored 21.
The Tigers overcame a slow start to beat the Eagles and will need to play their best game of the season to knock off a Virginia team that has allowed just one opponent (Louisville) to shoot 50 percent all season.
"It's going to be hard tomorrow," Brownell said. "I know that. I mean, they just make it hard. You've got to play exceptionally well. You've got to make plays, but I do think our team is in a better play (than we were the first time we played them)."
Virginia impressed with its offense against the Cardinals but were rock solid defensively as it held Louisville to just 37 percent shooting, which included just one made field goal in the final nine minutes of the game.
"They (Louisville) made a nice run to cut it to four or six, and we answered," Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said. "We got enough stops and made enough plays. Because we played them three times, we know how they can pull up and hit shots and touch the paint."
The Cavaliers will be looking for their third championship game appearance since 2014. They are 1-1 in the previous two.
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