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Joined: 1/12/19 Posts: 3598
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Excerpt from the Athletic article

(does not include the interesting comparisons as this may be too long not to get cut anyway)

Q. If Virginia does repeat, what is the narrative after the season? — Dan E.

A. Man. Imagine.

It’s hard to do so, honestly. A couple of reasons: First, Virginia’s national title team was gutted by draft decisions, understandably so. It’s really hard to imagine this UVa group being anywhere nearly as dominant without Kyle Guy, Ty Jerome and De’Andre Hunter, to the point where you can pretty much guarantee it isn’t going to happen.

The other reason: It’s hard to fathom the reaction.

As if the past season wasn’t already enough to once and for all validate Virginia as one of the nation’s top hoops programs, to cement Tony Bennett as one of its greatest coaches and to bury years of tournament disappointment and UMBC-related ignominy … imagine what the reaction to back-to-back national titles would be like. Insane!

The Cavaliers are going to be good again, really good, because they always are. They’ll play great defense. They’ll get increased contributions from developed veterans. They’ll have a say in the ACC title race. But they should not be anywhere near as good as the 2018-19 group — and if they somehow matched the heights that team scaled anyway? The narrative, so to speak, would write itself.

Q. Virginia’s realistic ceiling this year? — David J.

A. And now we return to Planet Earth. Probably necessary.

Hypothetical thoughts about a national title repeat aside, the more likely ceiling for this Virginia team is, like, top 10. Which is still really good! If it’s hard to imagine this team matching the Guy/Jerome/Hunter group, it’s equally impossible to imagine a Bennett-coached program not being among the toughest outs in the ACC, a team that rates out tremendously well defensively, and one that makes every opponent play defense for 30 seconds. These are the givens.

So, yeah, top-10-ish is about right. Maybe even a little bit higher. But will they have enough to be a surefire national title contender? That seems far less likely. Crazy stuff happens in the tournament, sure. But a deep tournament run, maybe to the second weekend, plus a top two or three type of performance in the ACC — this feels like the most likely, most realistic outcome, if not the absolute ceiling.

(In response to this post by Fair Weather Hoo)

Posted: 09/12/2019 at 10:25AM


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