Brooklyn Nets' Joe Harris Celebrates University of Virginia's ACC Tournament Win
The Nets swingman watched the ACC Final at Barclays Center and believes UVA is a March Madness favorite
BROOKLYN – Joe Harris is a proud University of Virginia alum, so he was ecstatic to see his Cavaliers win the ACC Tournament in his backyard at Barclays Center.
“It was awesome,” Harris told BrooklynNets.com. “Playing here all of the time and then for them to come in and win [was special]. To see how much they’ve improved since the last time I watched them play, the holiday tournament at Thanksgiving here, they’ve improved a lot since then.
“They were unranked then and to see them win the ACC tournament [now], it was pretty sweet to see how far they’ve come.”
Virginia beat the University of North Carolina in a thrilling 71-63 final on Saturday night. Harris, who played at the school for four seasons before going pro in 2014, hosted a small gathering of former teammates and ex-UVA players at his apartment before heading to watch the game. Once the ACC title was official, the group went on the court to celebrate with their teammates.
“[We] got to celebrate with everyone afterwards,” Harris said before adding, “We just went down on the court with them, hung out and watched them cut down the nets.”
It was the school’s third ACC tournament win, it’s second in this decade. In 2014, Harris actually helped UVA end a 38-year drought in the tournament, leading the school to a mini-upset over Duke. He was named MVP of the tournament after the big result. Despite coming into the tournament as a No. 1 seed, the team’s win over UNC – a storied basketball school – came as a surprise to some casual college hoops fans.
“Yeah, UVA, nothing is really that flashy about them,” Harris said. “They don’t really have the type of players that are like household names or anything like that, but they just play really good together.
“A lot of really good players that know how to play and play the right way – that are great defensively. They don’t really call a lot of attention to themselves, but they are 31-2 so they are having a pretty incredible season. They still slide under the radar a little bit.”
Harris believes the Cavaliers should be considered among the favorites at March Madness, though he admits he’s not exactly neutral.
“I think they have as good of a chance as anyone to go all the way,” he said. “Even though I might be bias, everyone else would agree with me based on the season they’ve had to this point.”