Virginia Men's Basketball 2018 NCAA Tournament Capsule

Virginia Cavaliers

ACC (31-2, 17-1)

This was supposed to be a transition year for Virginia. They unexpectedly lost some key players from last year’s team, which is rare for the Cavaliers. But Coach Tony Bennett had few problems playing his usual efficient style of play with this group and the team responded with a superb campaign.
Big Wins: 1/6 North Carolina (61-49), 1/23 Clemson (61-36), 1/27 at Duke (65-63)
Bad Losses: 12/5 at West Virginia (61-68), 2/10 Virginia Tech (60-61)
Coach: Tony Bennett
Why They Can Surprise:
As usual Virginia will play great defense, rarely turn the ball over and consistently knock down shots. That has proven to be a tough combination to beat and has been the case in 2017-2018 too. The Cavaliers do not have a point guard who dishes out a bunch of assists. Instead they have a backcourt trio of Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome and Devon Hall who can all handle the ball. The entire team deserves credit for committing so few turnovers, but those three lead the way. The trio is also the team’s top three scorers. Guy, a 6-2 sophomore, leads the way with 14.1 points per game. He is mostly an outside shooter, but has done a better job attacking the basket this season. Hall and Jerome are the bigger, dynamic guards who are a threat from long range and can score around the basket.
Why They Can Disappoint:
Isaiah Wilkins, Jack Salt and Mamadi Diakite form a decent frontcourt trio. Wilkins and Salt can block some shots, while Diakite provides some decent depth. However, when Wilkins is not on the floor, Virginia is susceptible on the glass. And often Coach Bennett will play even smaller with 6-7 wing De’Andre Hunter asked to play more like a big man. The frontcourt also does not have a consistent scoring threat, which makes it more difficult for Guy, Hall and Jerome to find space to operate. Virginia is used to giving up some possessions off the glass, but if this team is going to lose, the rebounding margin will probably be a key statistic in that game.
Probable Starters:
Kyle Guy, Sophomore, Guard, 14.1 ppg, 1.5 apg
Ty Jerome, Sophomore, Guard, 12.0 ppg, 3.9 apg
Devon Hall, Senior, Guard, 12.0 ppg, 4.3 rpg, 3.2 apg
Isaiah Wilkins, Senior, Forward, 5.9 ppg, 6.3 rpg, 1.6 apg, 1.5 bpg
Jack Salt, Junior, Center, 3.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg
Key Role Players:
De’Andre Hunter, Freshman, Guard, 9.2 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 1.1 apg
Nigel Johnson, Senior, Guard, 4.7 ppg, 1.6 apg
Mamadi Diakite, Sophomore, Forward, 5.3 ppg,  3.0 rpg
By the Numbers:
Scoring Offense: 67.3 (314th in nation, 13th in conference)
Scoring Defense: 52.8 (1, 1)
Field-Goal Percentage: 46.0 (109, 7)
Field-Goal Defense: 37.5 (3, 1)
Three-Point Field Goals Per Game: 7.4 (197, 13)
Three-Point Field-Goal Percentage: 38.9 (30, 2)
Free-Throw Percentage: 75.6 (40, 1)
Rebound Margin: 1.9 (118, 8)
Assists Per Game: 13.6 (176, 10)
Turnovers Per Game: 8.8 (1, 1)
Recent Postseason Appearances:
2017    NCAA Round of 64 win over UNC Wilmington
2017    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Florida
2016    NCAA Round of 64 win over Hampton
2016    NCAA Round of 32 win over Butler
2016    NCAA Regional Semifinal win over Iowa State
2016    NCAA Regional Final loss to Syracuse
2015    NCAA Round of 64 win over Belmont
2015    NCAA Round of 32 loss to Michigan State
2014    NCAA Round of 64 win over Coastal Carolina
2014    NCAA Round of 32 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 Round of 64 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
*all team stats through 3/4