- Last Season: 31-3, Lost in first round of NCAA Tournament
- Notable Losses: Devon Hall, Isaiah Wilkins, Nigel Johnson
- Notable Additions: Francisco Caffaro, Kihei Clark, Kody Stattmann
The sour and embarrassing taste of how last season ended for the Virginia Cavaliers is no-doubt still in the mouths of the Virginia Cavaliers. Surely no one has forgotten that Tony Bennett’s team became a March Madness trivia question by becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose to a 16-seed in the NCAA Tournament — thanks, UMBC. And with that comes the perception that this team isn’t legitimate, but we should honestly look at that as an outlier as opposed to who this team is.
After all, this is a Virginia team that lost only three games last season, including going a remarkable 17-1 in ACC play in a year where the conference as a whole was exceptionally impressive. Bennett’s slowed-down style of play may not be conducive to the NCAA Tournament and may have helped lead to their shocking upset loss, but it has proven to be effective in making this Virginia team a winner more often than not.
With that in mind, the Cavaliers are returning one of the stronger veteran backcourts in the country with Ty Jerome and Kyle Guy, along with a returning forward De’Andre Hunter. Speaking of Hunter, had he played against UMBC, the outcome may have been different, for whatever that’s worth. Regardless, this group can both score better than some Cavs’ corps of the past and can still be a lockdown defensive group.
Admittedly, the frontcourt of Virginia is lacking a bit in terms of proven depth outside of Hunter, but this team under Bennett’s watch is a safer bet, again, despite what happened in March.