Record: (25-6, 16-2 ACC)
Conference: Atlantic Coast Conference
How They Qualified: ACC Tournament Champions
Virginia came into this season ranked 25th in the nation and picked to finish 5th in the ACC. However, those inside the program felt that bigger things were possible and that this year’s team had a chance to be Coach Tony Bennett’s best squad yet. The reason behind that optimism was the fact that the Cavaliers returned their top five scorers, including Joe Harris and Akil Mitchell.
The season got off to a bumpy start with losses to VCU, Wisconsin and Green Bay. Then the team concept that Bennett pushes began to take hold and by the time Virginia started ACC play it was hard to say who their best player was because everybody was involved in the wins with different players stepping up each game. Outside of Harris and Mitchell, Malcolm Brogdon emerged as a star for UVA and in the ACC.
Virginia had what some called the easier draw in the ACC, but they beat UNC and Syracuse to win their first regular season ACC Title since the Ralph Sampson days in 1981. Brogdon ended up leading the team in scoring and led Virginia to impressive 16-2 record in the ACC and a Top 10 ranking.
What You Need to Know
Leading Scorer: Malcolm Brogdon – 12.6 points per game
Leading Rebounder: Akil Mitchell – 6.9 rebounds per game
Leading Passer: London Perrantes – 3.8 assists per game
Bad Losses: Tennessee, Green Bay
Good Wins: UNC, Syracuse
What to Expect
Virginia completed quite possibly the best ACC season in years that nobody in the nation noticed. By beating Duke in the ACC Finals, they won their 1st conference tournament since 1976. They only had 2 losses in the conference all year-long. This is clearly Tony Bennett’s best team he has assembled in Charlottesville. All they do is keep playing team basketball with 4-5 guys that can carry the team from game to game, and as a result, they keep winning. Because they are experienced, play lock down defense, and run an efficient offense, they can be very dangerous heading into the NCAA Tournament.