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No. 1 Virginia advances to Sweet 16, showdown with No. 4 Michigan State

APTOPIX NCAA Memphis Virginia Basketball

Virginia guard Justin Anderson (1) reacts after making a basket and drawing a foul by Memphis during the second half of an NCAA college basketball third-round tournament game, Sunday, March 23, 2014, in Raleigh, N.C. Virginia won 78-60. (AP Photo/Gerry Broome)

Gerry Broome

Remember when everyone was concerned about the fact that No. 1 Virginia was losing by 10 to No. 16 Coastal Carolina in the first half?

Seems like a long time ago, doesn’t it?

The Cavaliers pounded No. 8 seed Memphis on Sunday night, shooting 55.6% from the floor in a 78-60 win that felt like it was closer to a 40 point win than an 18 point win. Joe Harris led the way with 16 points as five players reached double figures in a performance that was quintessential Virginia: Memphis couldn’t get a good look until the game was no longer in doubt while Virginia’s execution offensively was flawless.

The win sends the Cavaliers onto the Sweet 16, where they will face-off in a highly-anticipated battle with No. 4 Michigan State.

When the brackets were released, the Spartans were immediately tabbed as the trendy pick to win the National Title. That’s what happens when a team with as much talent as there is on Michigan State’s roster finally gets healthy. But don’t think for a second that Virginia didn’t notice how much they were being overlooked.

Remember, this is a team that won the ACC regular season title -- by a couple of games -- and tournament title. They have one of the best defenses in the country and an offense that has opened up ever since the decision was made to put the ball into London Perrantes hands more.

The ‘Hoos are good, and they’ll be looking to prove it to the team the nation has dubbed as the East Region’s best.