5. Virginia Cavaliers
Mar 20, 2015; Charlotte, NC, USA; Virginia Cavaliers forward Evan Nolte (11) reacts during the second half against the Belmont Bruins in the second round of the 2015 NCAA Tournament at Time Warner Cable Arena. Virginia won 79-67. Mandatory Credit: Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
The Cavaliers have put together back-to-back 30-win seasons. However, their regular season success has yet to carry over to the postseason, as they have been ousted early in both seasons.
Tony Bennett‘s team is not always the most fun to watch, but they are a very fundamentally sound basketball team. They don’t possess the elite talent as some of the other teams on this list, but somehow, they still get the job done, more often than not. Bennett’s system has just been conducive for average players to really thrive.
This season, the Cavaliers will have to overcome a couple major losses in forwards Justin Anderson and Darion Atkins. Anderson was a fantastic two-way player and Atkins was the ACC Defensive Player of the Year.
The Cavaliers have been the most efficient defensive team over the past couple years and there’s no reason to believe they won’t be again this season. With that defense, Virginia can compete with the best of them.