Despite Win, Virginia Not Yet NCAA Tournament Ready

By Matt Josephs
Geoff Burke-USA TODAY Sports

You heard one side of the story on Virginia, now let’s get real on them. Yes, all the credit in the world to the Cavaliers for their 58-55 win over NC State tonight at John Paul Jones Arena.  They needed every one of those points tonight to beat a Wolf Pack team that had no Lorenzo Brown for the most part due to a rolled ankle and a not 100% CJ Leslie who was dealing with the flu.  Granted Leslie still put in 20 points and 14 rebounds, but I’m not a believer in the Wahoos.

There’s no doubting the defense that UVA plays as they have not allowed a single ACC opponent to score 60 points this season.  Only three opponents have broken that mark this season and two of them beat the Cavaliers.  I can’t buy a team that doesn’t have too many reliable scoring options on the offensive end.  Joe Harris and Akil Mitchell are nice players, but there is a drop off there offensively. Mike Tobey showed flashes tonight, but he’s a freshman who may hit the wall by the time March hits.

Before tonight’s win, Virginia had a strength of schedule of 253 with a non-conference strength of schedule of 336. There are 347 teams overall so they are towards the bottom.  They were ranked 272 in points scored and 263 in rebounds per game.  They have not really been challenged in conference.  Tonight is completely different if Lorenzo Brown plays the whole game.  Four of their next six are on the road in conference including games at Maryland, Georgia Tech and Miami.

All of these facts may not sway you to my side yet, but I’ve held out the number one piece of evidence.  December 22nd at the Richmond Coliseum, these same Cavaliers lost to Old Dominion who has a whopping two wins this season.  Yes it was a neutral court, but the majority of the fans there were Wahoo lovers.  One game does not make a team, but how can you trust a squad that has a loss to one of the worst teams in the NCAA?  Not to mention, they have also lost to Wake Forest, Delaware, George Mason and Clemson.

Bottom line is this…nice win tonight, but I want to see more from the team before I give them a field of 68 spot and a win or two in the process.

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