Virginia Men's Basketball 2015 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Virginia Cavaliers
ACC (29-3, 16-2)


Virginia has become one of the most frustrating teams to play in the entire country.  They have the talent to match just about anybody, but more than anything they are the stingiest defensive team in recent memory.  Tony Bennett has built a program in Charlottesville that has bought into his philosophy of super-slow basketball.  It has translated into a season to remember and a legitimate shot at the Final Four.

Big Wins: 12/3 at Maryland (76-65), 1/10 at Notre Dame (62-56), 2/2 at North Carolina (75-64)
Bad Losses: 1/31 Duke (63-69), 3/7 at Louisville (57-59)
Coach: Tony Bennett

Why They Can Surprise:
Any team that plays defense as well as Virginia is always going to have a chance to win against anybody.  Some of the numbers are astonishing.  They held three opponents under 30 points this season.  They slow the game down to such a crawl that it takes other teams out of their comfort zone.  They are forced to play Virginia’s game, and Virginia is better at it than everyone else.  To pair with that defense is their ability to make shots in the half court.  Malcolm Brogdon is an underrated star leading the team in points and free throw percentage.  He is dangerous from beginning to end.  Justin Anderson has been a revelation this season and he is shooting lights out from behind the arc.  He has been slow to come back from a wrist injury though. Anderson played just 26 minutes in Virginia’s two ACC tournament games.

Why They Can Disappoint:
It is possible that Virginia will run into teams with more talent and have their hands full guarding a bunch of capable scorers.  Their defensive effort will have to be masterful.  Also, like in their loss to Duke, any sort of scoring drought against a team that can shoot the three ball will be a challenge.  Duke came back late after being down by a dozen points simply by spreading the floor and hitting shots after a Virginia miss.  The Cavaliers do not score many points, so a shootout is not comfortable for them.  If a team solves their defense, they could have problems.

Probable Starters:
Malcolm Brogdon, Junior, Guard, 13.9 ppg, 2.5 apg, 3.9 rpg
Justin Anderson, Junior, Guard, 12.3 ppg, 1.8 apg, 4.1 rpg
Anthony Gill, Junior, Forward, 11.5 ppg, 6.6 rpg
London Perrantes, Sophomore, Guard, 6.4 ppg, 2.5 rpg, 4.8 apg
Darion Atkins, Senior, Forward, 7.5 ppg, 5.7 rpg, 1.1 bpg

Key Roleplayers:
Evan Nolte, Junior, Forward, 3.2 ppg, 1.5 bpg
Mike Tobey, Junior, Center, 7.1 ppg, 5.2 rpg
Marial Shayok, Freshman, Guard, 3.7 ppg, 1.1 apg

By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 65.5 (217th in nation, 12th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 50.2 (1, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.3 (55, 4)
Field-Goal Defense: 35.7 (3, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 5.1 (285, 10)  
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 36.2 (93, 6)
Free-Throw Percentage: 71.6 (81, 3)
Rebound Margin: 8.3 (8, 2)
Assists Per Game: 13.1 (136, 9)
Turnovers Per Game: 9.2 (4, 2)

Recent Postseason Appearances:
2014    NCAA    Second Round win over Coastal Carolina
2014    NCAA    Third Round win over Memphis
2014    NCAA    Regional Semifinal loss to Michigan State
2013    NIT    First Round win over Norfolk State
2013    NIT    Second Round win over St. John's
2013    NIT    Quarterfinal loss to Iowa
2012    NCAA    Second Round loss to Florida
2008    CBI    First Round win over Richmond
2008    CBI    Second Round win over Old Dominion
2008    CBI    Semifinal loss to Bradley
2007    NCAA    Round of 64 win over Albany
2007    NCAA    Round of 32 loss Tennessee
2006    NIT    First Round loss to Stanford
2004    NIT    First Round win over George Washington
2004    NIT    Second Round loss to Villanova
2003    NIT    First Round win over Brown
2003    NIT    Second Round loss to St. Johns

*all team stats through 3/8


See All Men’s Basketball Postseason Capsules