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Convincing Cavaliers

March 03, 1997

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - Jeff Jones feels his team has done enough. Gary Williams has no doubts, either.

But whether Sunday's victory by Jones' Virginia Cavaliers over Williams' Maryland Terrapins is enough to get Virginia into the NCAA tournament can't be answered until the 64-team field is announced next weekend.

``I really believe Virginia deserves to go to the NCAA,'' said Williams, whose 16th-ranked Maryland fell 81-74 in the regular-season finale for both teams. ``I would think six teams are a fair thing for us. It's not ridiculous to say there should be six teams from the ACC.''

Although Virginia (18-11, 7-9 Atlantic Coast Conference) could make the point mute with a good run in this week's ACC tournament, Jones treated Sunday's game as an all-or-nothing proposition, and was emotionally drained afterward.

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``I'm kind of at a loss for words. There's a lot swirling around inside,'' said Jones, whose team had lost five of its previous seven.

``To say there wasn't pressure would be an outright lie. There was a huge amount of pressure. ... (The victory) was emotional because of what was at stake in terms of the NCAA and how badly the team wanted to get back there.''

While Williams and Jones were spreading it on thick for Virginia's cause, the Maryland coach realized he had some problems of his own to deal with. Although the Terrapins (20-9, 9-7) are a cinch to make the NCAAs, they have lost seven of their last 10 following a 17-2 start.

For a while, it appeared Maryland would be the team ending the regular season on the high note. The Terrapins used speed and defense to create a 50-40 with 14:50 to play.

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