Cavaliers Banish Blue Devils in Overtime

Ken Cross

February 14, 2023 at 11:59 am.

Saturday evening’s 69-62 overtime win for No. 8 Virginia over visiting Duke had some likenesses and differences to the 1998 movie, “A Night at the Roxbury,” which starred the great comedian, Will Farrell.

The movie featured a story about two brothers who wanted to own the greatest nightclub in a town. With their rivalry, Virginia and Duke are anything but brothers over the years and the Blue Devils have fallen this season to the middle of the league.

When speaking about the pair owning their own dance club, it related to the Cavaliers’ and Blue Devils’ designs on the ACC regular season title. Duke’s chances took a hit this week with the 81-59 loss to Miami and then the overtime loss to the Cavaliers.

Since the movie’s two brothers talked about sharing the most exclusive club in town, it parallels a longing from both teams to return to the Final Four and win a national championship.

Saturday evening showed the presence of the rivalry, firsthand.

A blocked shot at the buzzer by Virginia guard Reece Beekman was allowed although the triplicate of officials had blown a whistle and called a foul on Virginia’s Ryan Dunn on Kyle Filipowski.

The Duke center had driven the left side off of a V-cut on the perimeter which was met with an inbound pass. Apparently, the shot was blocked before any contact which would have alleviated a potential whistle.

“Our rim protection was a little more taking charges today and then at the end, the block by Reece, whether it was called or not,” explained Virginia head coach Tony Bennett. “It was just one of those games where guys figured it out.”

Officials Jeffrey Anderson, Tim Clougherty and Lee Cassell watched the video and rightfully ruled that the play was over and the foul should have not been awarded.

The ACC office begged to differ as it ruled that contact was made by Ryan Dunn before the shot had gone off. Over the years, Duke usually benefits from any type of controversy and is awarded accordingly. That didn’t happen on Saturday as the foul was declared after the shot block and the buzzer and overtime beckoned.

The block eliminated anything further as it ended the status of the play as the buzzer ended regulation.

Virginia guard Armaan Franklin led the Cavs with 23 points by going 9-of-13 from the floor as three of the nine shots were of the three-point variety.

Potentially, Franklin was the star as he came up enormous when he nailed a three-point field goal with 40 seconds remaining in the extra session. It gave the Cavaliers what was an insurmountable 66-62 lead.

“Kihei was on a wing and I just ran to the corner,” said Franklin. “His man didn’t switch off. He said, ‘Oh, the corner, look!’ And I shoot a million of those a day. It was good to see that one go in.”

In any case, other players had key roles as Virginia point guard Kihei Clark once again was the epitome of a leader with 16 points and five assists and he found an open Franklin for that triple.

Reece Beekman’s defensive character was prime for the Cavaliers in the 41 minutes that he was on the floor. He had three assists and no turnovers, as well as seven boards and six assists.

“He’s got great instincts,” said Bennett. “I thought Kihei and Reece were for the most part on the ball today and that was a key as well.”

As the curtain fell, the Roxbury became a destination for two brothers in the movie like the court in John Paul Jones Arena for Saturday’s rivals. It was comparable to a launching pad for Virginia or Duke to try to start a run through the last three weeks of the season, the ACC Tournament and the NCAA Tournament.