Virginia Cavaliers men's basketball

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Virginia Cavaliers
Basketball current event.svg 2019–20 Virginia Cavaliers men's basketball team
Virginia Cavaliers text logo.svg
University University of Virginia
First season 1905–06
All-time record1640–1169–1 (.584)
Athletic directorCarla Williams
Head coach Tony Bennett (11th season)
Conference Atlantic Coast Conference
Location Charlottesville, Virginia
Arena John Paul Jones Arena
(Capacity: 14,593)
Nickname Cavaliers (official)
Wahoos (unofficial)
Student sectionHoo Crew
ColorsOrange and Blue [1]
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NCAA Tournament Champions
NCAA Tournament Final Four
1981, 1984, 2019
NCAA Tournament Elite Eight
1981, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1995, 2016, 2019
NCAA Tournament Sweet Sixteen
1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1993, 1995, 2014, 2016, 2019
NCAA Tournament Round of 32
1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1990, 1993, 1994, 1995, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2019
NCAA Tournament Appearances
1976, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995, 1997, 2001, 2007, 2012, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019
Conference Tournament Champions
1976, 2014, 2018
Conference Regular Season Champions
1922, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019

The Virginia Cavaliers men's basketball team is the intercollegiate men's basketball program representing the University of Virginia. The school competes in the Atlantic Coast Conference in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association. Virginia has won one NCAA Championship, two National Invitation Tournaments, and three ACC Tournament titles. The team is coached by Tony Bennett and plays home games at the on-campus John Paul Jones Arena (14,593) which opened in 2006. They have been called the Cavaliers since 1923, predating the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA by half a century.


Virginia was a top program in the early years of college basketball under the tutelage of Pop Lannigan from 1905–1929, and even a consistent winner under dual-sport football coach Gus Tebell from 1930–1951, but the Cavaliers struggled in the 1950s and 1960s before Terry Holland arrived in 1974 to win their first ACC Championship and earn their first NCAA Tournament appearance in just his second year. The program has since won nine ACC season titles, third-best all-time. In the recent 18-game era (2012–2019) of ACC play under Bennett, Virginia had four of the five teams to go 16–2 or better. [2] UVA was also the only ACC program to finish a season 17–1 (none went undefeated). [2]

Virginia won the NCAA Tournament Championship in 2019, has been to the Final Four three times, and won the last third-place game ever played at the event in 1981. UVA is one of only two programs to have earned a No. 1 seed in all four regions of the NCAA Tournament. [lower-alpha 1] The Cavaliers have been ranked in the Top 5 of the AP Poll a total of 97 times in the past four decades, ranking the program 9th since the 1980–81 season. [3]


The Wahoos , as they are unofficially known, began their history under the tutelage of a Welshman and American immigrant known best as "Pop", Henry Lannigan. Lannigan began the program in 1905 after training Olympic Games hopefuls in track and field and quickly brought the basketball program into near-dominant form. [4] He led the Cavaliers to a perfect record of 17–0 in 1914-15 and a Southern Conference title in its inaugural season of 1921-22. After reaching prominence the team was invited to help the nationally known Kentucky Wildcats showcase their new Alumni Gymnasium. Virginia dominated Kentucky, 29–16. [4] Inviting Kentucky back to Memorial Gymnasium in 1928, Virginia again won, 31–28. [4] Lannigan's record of 254–95 (.728) held the Virginia record for best career winning percentage by a head coach until finally surpassed by a man who was hired 104 years after he started the program.

After Lannigan's sudden death in 1930 and with limited administration interest at the onset of the Great Depression, Virginia basketball did not maintain its momentum into the next several decades. Buzzy Wilkinson scored 32.1 points per game in 1954-55 and is still the all-time ACC leader in scoring per game for both the single-season and career (28.1) categories. [5] He was selected by the Boston Celtics in the 1955 NBA Draft. Unfortunately, Virginia teams of the era were not as great at defense and high scoring did not lead to many wins. Likewise, Barry Parkhill was named ACC Men's Basketball Player of the Year in 1971–72 and was drafted in the first round by the Portland Trail Blazers but the program had not regained its early standing.

Terry Holland was hired from Davidson in 1975, and with star Wally Walker surprised the ACC in just his second year as head coach when his sixth-seeded Virginia defeated AP No. 17 NC State, No. 9 Maryland and No. 4 North Carolina en route to winning the school's first ACC Championship. Played in Landover, Maryland, it was also and fittingly the first ACC Tournament held outside of North Carolina. Athletic, quick, and seven-foot-four, Ralph Sampson was perhaps the most desired high school recruit in college basketball history when he chose to play with Jeff Lamp at Virginia over Kentucky in 1979. [6] He lived up to that hype would become one of the most dominant college players the game has ever known, winning three consecutive Naismith College Player of the Year awards to tie him with Bill Walton as the most awarded individual player in NCAA history. Virginia would attain its first AP Top 5 rankings and go to its first Final Four in Sampson's era, but would be stonewalled by Dean Smith and North Carolina both in that Final Four and in ACC Tournaments. Carolina notoriously held the ball in a four corners offense for most of the last seven minutes of the game, despite having UNC's most celebrated NBA superstars Michael Jordan and James Worthy on the floor, to defeat Virginia in the 1982 ACC Tournament 47–45. [7] Both the shot clock and three-point line were implemented into college basketball during the same decade in part to combat such shenanigans. [7] In 1984, after Sampson was drafted first in the 1983 NBA Draft, Virginia made a Cinderella run back to the Final Four. There they lost 49–47, in overtime, [lower-alpha 2] to a Houston team led by the first pick of the 1984 NBA Draft, Hakeem Olajuwon, who then joined Sampson to form the original Twin Towers of the NBA on the Houston Rockets.

John Crotty and Bryant Stith took the darkhorse 1988–89 team to the Elite Eight after defeating AP No. 2 (and No. 1 seed) Oklahoma which returned most of its lineup (including Stacey King and Mookie Blaylock) from the team that reached the 1988 NCAA Tournament Championship Game. After Holland retired the next year, the Cavaliers were coached by Jeff Jones for eight years, Pete Gillen for seven, and Dave Leitao for four. Highlights of those teams include a Jones team headlined by Cory Alexander and Junior Burrough that also reached the Elite Eight after a first-place finish in the ACC standings of 1995. There were no championship teams under Gillen, but his recruits Sean Singletary and J. R. Reynolds led the 2007 team to Virginia's next conference-topping finish in Leitao's second season. While there were flashes of brilliance under each of the three coaches, the program regained and expanded its national prominence under the coach who followed them.

Tony Bennett arrived in March 2009 and got to work in building ”a program that lasts." [8] His 2013–14 team led by Joe Harris and Malcolm Brogdon brought Virginia its first ACC Tournament Championship in 38 years and its first Sweet Sixteen appearance in 19 years. The 2014–15 squad, led by Justin Anderson and Brogdon, started 19–0 and was even more dominant throughout the season as this team more than doubled up the scores of Georgia Tech and Wake Forest, only the second and third times in history that one ACC team scored twice as many points as another ACC team in official competition. However, Anderson broke his finger against Louisville and did not return until the NCAA Tournament where he was much diminished and the team bowed out to Michigan State in the second round. Brogdon led the 2015–16 team to the Elite Eight, but they fell just short of the elusive Final Four after a late rally by Syracuse. Shocking the basketball world twice in two years, Virginia lost to 16-seed UMBC in the first round of the 2018 NCAA Tournament only to come back and win the 2019 NCAA Tournament Championship the very next year. [9] ESPN called Virginia's 2018–19 campaign "the most redemptive season in the history of college basketball." [10] CBS This Morning called it "basketball's ultimate redemption story" the morning after the national championship match. [11]

As of 2019, Bennett has led Virginia to the program's first NCAA Championship, third Final Four, second and third ACC Championships, and four of nine seasons Virginia has finished first in the ACC season standings. He holds the single-season wins record of 35 from the 2018–19 season, breaking his own previous record of 31.

NCAA Final Four Teams

Virginia is 3–2 at Final Four events and won the 2019 NCAA Tournament Championship.

1981: Sampson and Goliath

Led by Coach Terry Holland, National Player of the Year Ralph Sampson and his first team All-ACC teammate Jeff Lamp, the Cavaliers rolled to their best season in school history. After beginning the season with a 23-0 record, the Cavaliers would claim the ACC Regular Season title before falling in the ACC Tournament Semifinals. Despite the loss, UVA still entered the NCAA tournament as the 1 seed in the East Regional of the 1981 NCAA Tournament.

UVA received a first round bye and squeaked by Villanova 54-50 in the 2nd round. They would then handle both Tennessee and Brigham Young by 14 points each in the Sweet 16 and Elite 8 respectively to clinch a berth in the program's first ever Final Four in Philadelphia. Despite sweeping North Carolina in the ACC regular season, the rival Tar Heels would defeat the Cavaliers in the National Semifinals. Virginia would close the season on a high note, however, defeating Louisiana State in the National Third Place game to cap the program's most successful season to that point.

1984: Virginia Plays Cinderella

Following the loss of their vaunted All-American in Sampson, the Virginia basketball team took a step back in 1983-84, at least in the regular season. The Cavaliers limped into the ACC tournament with a 17-10 (6-8) record, promptly falling to Wake Forest in the first round. Their record was good enough to ensure them an NCAA Tournament invite and they were awarded the 7-seed in the East Regional.

After escaping 10th-seeded Iona 58-57 in the first round, Virginia drew Southwest Conference champion and 2nd-seeded Arkansas in the 2nd round. The Cavaliers dispatched the Razorbacks 53-51 in an overtime affair before cruising past 3rd-seeded Syracuse 63-55 in the Sweet Sixteen. In a low-scoring, defensive affair, the Cavaliers defeated Bobby Knight's 4th-seeded Indiana Hoosiers 50-48 in the Elite Eight to clinch the school's second Final Four appearance in 4 seasons.

In the National Semifinals, Virginia drew the Hakeem Olajuwon-led Houston Cougars at the Kingdome in Seattle. The Cavaliers gave the vaunted Phi Slama Jama lineup all they could handle, but eventually fell 49-47 in overtime, ending a surprisingly-successful postseason run.

2019: National Champions

See also: 2019 NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship Game.
See also: 2018–19: National Championship section of Tony Bennett.
Kyle Guy converted all three free throws with less than a second left in the Final Four game against Auburn; UVA won by one point. Kyle Guy UVA (cropped).jpg
Kyle Guy converted all three free throws with less than a second left in the Final Four game against Auburn; UVA won by one point.

This Virginia team featured a vaunted Bennett defense along with the three-pronged offensive attack of De'Andre Hunter, Kyle Guy, and Ty Jerome [12] , also known as the "Big Three." The Cavaliers began and ended the season ranked in the AP Top 5 with a 28–2 regular season. [13] [14] One noteworthy event along the way was when No. 4 Virginia soundly defeated No. 9 Virginia Tech 81–59 after Buzz Williams had turned that squad into the first AP Top Ten Hokie team Virginia had ever faced in history. [15] In the ACC Tournament, Virginia defeated bubble team NC State 76–56 before being physically overpowered by a very athletic Florida State team, 69–59. [16] [17] The two UVA–Duke matchups during the ACC regular season were the most watched college basketball games of the regular season with 3.8 million and 3.3 million viewers for their games in Durham and Charlottesville respectively. [18] Entering the NCAA Tournament, Virginia was a number 1 seed in the South region, Duke was the number one overall seed and placed in the East regional while North Carolina also received a No. 1 seed in the Midwest region. The only No. 1 seed from outside the ACC was Gonzaga in the West, later to be defeated by Texas Tech in the Elite Eight.

Virginia in fact became the only No. 1 seed of the tournament to advance to the Final Four and did so in electrifying fashion over Purdue. After first defeating Gardner-Webb, Oklahoma, and Oregon, they met the red-hot Boilermakers who had taken out defending champion Villanova and No. 2 seed Tennessee. Virginia would get out to a ten-point lead before Carsen Edwards started making one 27-foot to 28-foot three-pointer after another, and there was no answer Virginia could come up with to stop him. He scored 42 points (after also scoring 42 against Villanova), by far a record against a Bennett-coached team. [19] [20] Down by three points with 5.9 seconds to play, Ty Jerome stepped to the line for two free throws. [20] He made the first but missed the second, yet Mamadi Diakite backtapped the ball into the backcourt where Kihei Clark recovered and sent a bullet pass back to Diakite with only one second remaining in the game. [20] Diakite immediately shot, the ball went through , and the game went into an improbable overtime. [20] Virginia then outscored Purdue 10–5 in the extra period to advance. Jerome, Diakite, and Kyle Guy each made the South Regional All-Tournament team.

De'Andre Hunter shut down Jarrett Culver and scored a career-high 27 points in the National Championship Game; he soon was the No. 4 pick of the 2019 NBA draft. De'Andre Hunter.jpg
De'Andre Hunter shut down Jarrett Culver and scored a career-high 27 points in the National Championship Game; he soon was the No. 4 pick of the 2019 NBA draft.

In the Final Four, Virginia met the Auburn Tigers who had already dispatched of Kansas, North Carolina, and Kentucky to get there. [21] This game was a back-and-forth battle as Virginia trailed the Tigers at halftime, 31–28. Virginia made a convincing comeback in the second half and led 57–47 before Auburn made their own as Bryce Brown and Jared Harper hit three-point shots and the Tigers went on a 14-point run. [21] Down 61–57 with 7.7 seconds remaining, Guy nailed a three-point shot from the right corner. [21] Harper then converted one of two free throws to lead 62–60. [21] The referees missed a clear reach-in foul on Auburn before missing another double dribble by Jerome, then Auburn was called for a foul with 1.5 seconds remaining. [21] [22] On the in-bounds play Jerome found Guy, again for the corner three, but Guy missed as an Auburn player fouled him by undercutting his lower body. Videos of Auburn fans who pre-maturely celebrated without realizing a foul had been committed were widely circulated and became part of Jimmy Kimmel Live! the following night. [23] Guy drained all three free throws to put Virginia into the 2019 NCAA Tournament Championship Game. [23]

The National Championship match was headlined by two of the top defenses in college basketball, Virginia and the Texas Tech Red Raiders. [24] Virginia didn't allow Texas Tech to score a field goal until 7½ minutes into the first half, but a barrage of three-point field goals by the Red Raiders allowed them to catch up and even lead the 'Hoos 25–22. [24] Virginia then tightened up and scored some of their own to lead at halftime, 32–29. [24] Eventual top-10 picks in the subsequent NBA draft De'Andre Hunter and Jarrett Culver shot 1-for-8 and 0-for-6 from the field in the first half respectively, but Hunter came roaring out for the second half and shot 7-for-8 to end with a career-high 27 points while the NABC Defensive Player of the Year sophomore limited Culver to 5-for-22 shooting and a 15-point total. [25] Texas Tech again rallied from a deficit to take a lead, and Virginia again matched them as the game went into overtime. [24] Virginia was too much for the Red Raiders in the overtime period, outscoring them 17–9 to win their first national title 85–77. [24]

Virginia ended the season with a 35–3 record, shattering the previous record for single-season wins at Virginia. [24] The team was 29–0 after leading at halftime. [24] The Cavaliers were the first first-time champions of the NCAA Tournament since the University of Florida thirteen years earlier. [24]

ACC Tournament Championship Teams

Virginia has won the ACC Tournament three times, defeating Duke or North Carolina in each title game.

1976: Miracle in Landover

The 1975-76 Cavalier season was largely disappointing as they finished 13-11 overall (4-8, ACC) and limped into the ACC Tournament as the 6th seed. Played at the Capital Centre in Landover, Maryland, the tournament was the first in ACC history to be played outside the state of North Carolina.

Despite falling to NC State twice during the regular season, the Cavaliers upset the 3rd-seeded Wolfpack 75-63. The Cavaliers then drew 2nd-Maryland, longtime border rivals that had just defeated UVA five days earlier at Cole Fieldhouse. Virginia defeated the #9 ranked Terrapins before dispatching Top-seeded and 4th-ranked North Carolina 67-62 in the championship game. It marked the first conference tournament title and NCAA appearance for Virginia, as well as only the 3rd time a non-North Carolina-based team won the conference title (following Maryland in 1958 and South Carolina in 1971). Wally Walker scored 21 points and grabbed 7 rebounds in the title game, being named tournament MVP in the process.

Virginia was awarded the East Region's 7 seed in the NCAA Tournament, where they fell to 2nd-seeded DePaul in the first round.

2014: Bennett Ball Arrives

After a few years of steady improvement, Tony Bennett finally had a team he had fully recruited and coached. The Cavaliers got off to a rough 9-4 start, punctuated by a 35-point road loss at Tennessee. Following a fateful conversation between star G/F Joe Harris and Coach Bennett, UVA got on track and rolled through the ACC. On March 1, the 12th ranked Cavaliers would defeat #4 Syracuse at John Paul Jones Arena to clinch the outright ACC regular season title, allowing them to enter the 2014 ACC Men's Basketball Tournament as the 1-seed.

After rolling by 8th seeded Florida State, Virginia held off 4th-seeded Pittsburgh in the ACC Seminfinals, setting up a championship clash against 3rd seeded Duke at Greensboro Coliseum. The Cavaliers would exact revenge for a regular season loss to the Blue Devils, defeating them 72-63 and claiming their first ACC tournament title since The Miracle in Landover. Joe Harris was named tournament MVP while Malcolm Brogdon joined him as a 1st team selection.

2018: Calm Before the Storm

After losing all-conference point guard London Perrantes to graduation and the Cleveland Cavaliers, many expected 2017-18 to be a rebuilding year for Virginia basketball. The team would start the season unranked before getting off to an 11-1 non-conference start and climbing up to #13 in the country at the start of conference play. Virginia would then become the first team to go 17-1 in conference play, notably snapping a long losing streak at Cameron Indoor Stadium against Duke, scoring 5 points in 0.9 seconds to stun Louisville at the KFC Yum! Center, and only losing one conference game by a single point in overtime.

They would open the ACC tournament by routing 9th-seeded Louisville 75-58 in the quarterfinals before dispatching 4th-seeded Clemson 64-58 in the semis. They would then rematch with a North Carolina team they had defeated earlier in Charlottesville and claim the ACC championship with a 71-63 win. Kyle Guy was named tournament MVP and was joined on the First team by Devon Hall as the Cavaliers gave Tony Bennett his second ACC tournament title in 5 seasons.


Results by season (1980–Present)

Terry Holland (Atlantic Coast Conference)(1974–1990)
1979–80 Terry Holland24–107–75th NIT Championship
1980–81 Terry Holland29–413–11st NCAA Final Four
1981–82 Terry Holland30–412–2T–1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1982–83 Terry Holland29–512–2T–1st NCAA Elite Eight
1983–84 Terry Holland21–126–86th NCAA Final Four
1984–85Terry Holland17–163–118th NIT Quarterfinals
1985–86Terry Holland19–117–75th NCAA First Round
1986–87Terry Holland21–108–64th NCAA First Round
1987–88Terry Holland13–185–96th
1988–89Terry Holland22–119–53rd NCAA Elite Eight
1989–90Terry Holland20–126–85th NCAA Second Round
Terry Holland:326–173 (.653)111–103 (.519)
Jeff Jones (Atlantic Coast Conference)(1990–1998)
1990–91Jeff Jones21–126–86th NCAA First Round
1991–92Jeff Jones20–138–85th NIT Championship
1992–93Jeff Jones21–109–75th NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1993–94Jeff Jones18–138–84th NCAA Second Round
1994–95Jeff Jones25–912–4T–1st NCAA Elite Eight
1995–96Jeff Jones12–156–107th
1996–97Jeff Jones18–137–96th NCAA First Round
1997–98Jeff Jones11–193–139th
Jeff Jones:146–104 (.584)59–67 (.468)
Pete Gillen (Atlantic Coast Conference)(1998–2005)
1998–99 Pete Gillen14–164–129th
1999–00 Pete Gillen19–129–73rd NIT First Round
2000–01 Pete Gillen20–99–74th NCAA First Round
2001–02 Pete Gillen17–127–95th NIT First Round
2002–03 Pete Gillen16–166–106th NIT Second Round
2003–04 Pete Gillen18–136–108th NIT Second Round
2004–05 Pete Gillen14–154–1211th
Pete Gillen:118–93 (.559)45–67 (.402)
Dave Leitao (Atlantic Coast Conference)(2005–2009)
2005–06 Dave Leitao15–157–97th NIT First Round
2006–07 Dave Leitao21–1111–5T–1st NCAA Second Round
2007–08 Dave Leitao17–165–1110th CBI Semifinals
2008–09 Dave Leitao10–184–1211th
Dave Leitao:63–60 (.512)27–37 (.422)
Tony Bennett (Atlantic Coast Conference)(2009–present)
2009–10 Tony Bennett15–165–119th
2010–11 Tony Bennett16–157–98th
2011–12 Tony Bennett22–109–74th NCAA First Round
2012–13 Tony Bennett23–1211–74th NIT Quarterfinals
2013–14 Tony Bennett30–716–21st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2014–15 Tony Bennett30–416–21st NCAA Second Round
2015–16 Tony Bennett29–813–52nd NCAA Elite Eight
2016–17 Tony Bennett23–1111–7T–5th NCAA Second Round
2017–18 Tony Bennett31–317–11st NCAA First Round
2018–19 Tony Bennett35–316–2T–1st NCAA Champions
2019-20 Tony Bennett8-12-0
Tony Bennett:262–90 (.744)123–53 (.699)
Total:1640–1169–1 (.584)

      National champion        Postseason invitational champion  
      Conference regular season champion        Conference regular season and conference tournament champion
      Division regular season champion      Division regular season and conference tournament champion
      Conference tournament champion


NCAA tournament results

The Cavaliers have appeared in the NCAA Tournament twenty-three times. Their combined record is 35–22. They were national champions in 2019.

1976 EastFirst RoundDePaulL 60–69
1981 #1 EastSecond Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
National Third Place
#9 Villanova
#4 Tennessee
#6 BYU
#2 (W) North Carolina
#1 (MW) LSU
W 54–40
W 62–48
W 74–60
L 65–78
W 78–74
1982 #1 MideastSecond Round
Sweet Sixteen
#9 Tennessee
#4 UAB
W 54–51
L 66–68
1983 #1 WestSecond Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
#8 Washington State
#4 Boston College
#6 NC State
W 54–49
W 95–92
L 62–63
1984 #7 EastFirst Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
#10 Iona
#2 Arkansas
#3 Syracuse
#4 Indiana
#2 (MW) Houston
W 58–57
W 53–51OT
W 63–55
W 50–48
L 47–49OT
1986 #5 EastFirst Round#12 DePaulL 68–72
1987 #5 WestFirst Round#12 WyomingL 60–64
1989 #5 SoutheastFirst Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
#12 Providence
#13 Middle Tennessee
#1 Oklahoma
#3 Michigan
W 100–97
W 104–88
W 86–80
L 65–102
1990 #7 SoutheastFirst Round
Second Round
#10 Notre Dame
#2 Syracuse
W 75–67
L 61–63
1991 #7 WestFirst Round#10 BYUL 48–61
1993 #6 EastFirst Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
#11 Manhattan
#3 Massachusetts
#2 Cincinnati
W 78–66
W 71–56
L 54–71
1994 #7 WestFirst Round
Second Round
#10 New Mexico
#2 Arizona
W 57–54
L 58–71
1995 #4 MidwestFirst Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
#13 Nicholls State
#12 Miami (OH)
#1 Kansas
#2 Arkansas
W 96–72
W 60–54OT
W 67–58
L 61–68
1997 #9 WestFirst Round#8 IowaL 60–73
2001 #5 SouthFirst Round#12 GonzagaL 85–86
2007 #4 SouthFirst Round
Second Round
#13 Albany
#5 Tennessee
W 84–57
L 74–77
2012 #10 WestFirst Round#7 FloridaL 45–71
2014 #1 EastSecond Round
Third Round
Sweet Sixteen
#16 Coastal Carolina
#8 Memphis
#4 Michigan State
W 70–59
W 78–60
L 59–61
2015 #2 EastSecond Round
Third Round
#15 Belmont
#7 Michigan State
W 79–67
L 54–60
2016 #1 MidwestFirst Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
#16 Hampton
#9 Butler
#4 Iowa State
#10 Syracuse
W 81–45
W 77–69
W 84–71
L 62–68
2017 #5 EastFirst Round
Second Round
#12 UNC Wilmington
#4 Florida
W 76–71
L 39–65
2018 #1 SouthFirst Round#16 UMBC L 54–74
2019 #1 SouthFirst Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
Elite Eight
Final Four
National Championship
#16 Gardner-Webb
#9 Oklahoma
#12 Oregon
#3 Purdue
#5 (MW) Auburn
#3 (W) Texas Tech
W 71–56
W 63–51
W 53–49
W 80–75OT
W 63–62
W 85–77OT

NIT results

The Cavaliers have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) 13 times. Their combined record is 17–11. They were NIT champions in 1980 and 1992.

1941 QuarterfinalsCCNYL 35–64
1972 First RoundLafayetteL 71–72
1978 First RoundGeorgetownL 68–70OT
1979 First Round
Second Round
Northeast Louisiana
W 79–78
L 88–90
1980 First Round
Second Round
Boston College
W 67–56
W 57–55
W 79–68
W 90–71
W 58–55
1985 First Round
Second Round
West Virginia
Saint Joseph's
W 56–55
W 68–61
L 54–61
1992 First Round
Second Round
New Mexico
Notre Dame
W 83–80
W 77–52
W 76–71
W 62–56
W 81–76OT
2000 First RoundGeorgetownL 111–1153OT
2002 First RoundSouth CarolinaL 74–67
2003 First Round
Second Round
St. John's
W 89–73
L 63–73
2004 First Round
Second Round
George Washington
W 79–66
L 63–73
2006 Opening RoundStanfordL 49–65
2013 First Round
Second Round
Norfolk State
St. John's
W 67–56
W 68–50
L 64–75

CBI results

The Cavaliers have appeared in the College Basketball Invitational (CBI) once, in 2008. Their record is 2–1.

2008 #1First Round
Old Dominion
W 66–64
W 80–76
L 85–96


Louisville Cardinals

Following conference realignment, the Cardinals moved from the Big East to the ACC and were designated UVA's home-and-away rivals. The two teams had previously met for four straight years outside of their conferences in the 1980s during an era both programs were highly ranked. The Cavaliers won each of those games in 1982, 1983, 1984, and 1985. In the ACC, the two teams have acted as spoilers to the other with a Cardinal win in 2015 and a 2017 Cavalier win delaying or preventing an ACC regular season title, while an injury to star player Justin Anderson during the 2015 matchup derailed UVA's national championship aspirations. The March 2018 matchup between the two teams ended with Virginia scoring five points in the final 0.9 seconds and dealing what proved to be a mortal blow to Louisville's NCAA tournament hopes. Both teams won NCAA Championships in the 2010s Louisville in 2013 (later vacated) and Virginia in 2019. UVA leads the all-time series 15–4.

Virginia Tech Hokies

As the two Power Conference teams in the Commonwealth, the Cavaliers and Hokies have a long-standing rivalry. While the intensity has picked up since Virginia Tech joined the ACC in 2004, the all-time series record is well in favor of UVA, with the Cavaliers leading the series 96–56. Buzz Williams was only 3–7 against Virginia before departing from Tech, but did lead the Hokies to hand UVA the only blemish of the Wahoos' 17–1 ACC season in 2018.

North Carolina Tar Heels

As the two oldest universities of the ACC, the UVA–UNC rivalry spans many sports and has persisted to varying degrees since the late 1800s. The early 1980s were a particular highlight for the basketball series as all-time greats Ralph Sampson and Michael Jordan led two Top 5 programs of the era. The Tar Heels have dominated much of the all-time series and lead 131–58, but Virginia is 9–4 against the Heels since the Cavaliers began their rise back to national prominence under Tony Bennett in the 2012–13 season. The two teams defeated each other for ACC Tournament Championships in 2016 and 2018, and the winner of those conference title matches went on to win NCAA Championships the following year (UNC in 2017 and UVA in 2019).

Maryland Terrapins

Thanks to the proximity of these two long-time ACC members, and their status as Tobacco Road outsiders, Maryland and Virginia have a long-standing rivalry that spans many decades. Traditionally, these two schools would meet in the last game of the season, and acted as spoilers to each other as they sought ACC season championships and NCAA Tournament appearances. This rivalry has been diminished in recent years, thanks to Maryland's move to the Big Ten Conference. They did match up in the 2014 and 2018 ACC-Big Ten Challenges, ending in 76–65 and 76–71 victories which were both won by Virginia on the road in College Park.


Memorial Gym, UVA's home court from 1924 until 1965 UVAMemorialGym1.jpg
Memorial Gym, UVA's home court from 1924 until 1965

Virginia has had eleven head coaches lead the team since 1905. [26]

Head CoachYearsWin–LossPct.
Henry Lannigan 1905–1929254–95–1.727
Roy Randall 1929–19303–12.200
Gus Tebell 1930–1951241–190.559
Evan "Bus" Male 1951–195767–88.432
Billy McCann 1957–196340–106.274
Bill Gibson 1963–1974120–158.432
Terry Holland 1974–1990326–173.653
Jeff Jones 1990–1998146–104.584
Pete Gillen 1998–2005118–93.559
Dave Leitao 2005–200963–60.512
Tony Bennett 2009–present262–90.744


Overall [27]
Years of basketball115
First season1905–06
Head coaches (all-time)11
All Games [27]
All-time record1640–1169–1 (.584)
20+ win seasons25 (1928, 1972, 1978, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1987, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, 1993, 1995, 2001, 2007, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019)
30+ win seasons5 (1982, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019)
Home Games [27]
John Paul Jones Arena (2006–present)186–42 (.816)
University Hall (1965–2006)402–143 (.738)
Memorial Gymnasium (1924–1965)279–157 (.640)
Fayerweather Gymnasium (1905–1924)134–19 (.876)
Conference Games [27]
Southern Conference Record (1921–1937)73–79 (.480)
SoCon Regular Season Championship 1 (1922)
ACC Record (1953–present)447–524 (.460)
ACC Regular Season Championships 9 (1981, 1982, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019)
ACC Tournament Championships 3 (1976, 2014, 2018)
ACC Players of the Year 5 (Parkhill 1972; Sampson 1981, 1982, 1983; Brogdon 2016)
NCAA Tournament
NCAA Appearances23
NCAA W–L record35–22 (.614)
Sweet Sixteen10 (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1993, 1995, 2014, 2016, 2019)
Elite Eight7 (1981, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1995, 2016, 2019)
Final Four3 (1981, 1984, 2019)
National Championships1 (2019)
National Invitation Tournament
NIT Appearances13
NIT W–L record17–11 (.607)
NIT Championships2 (1980, 1992)
Accurate through December 8, 2019

Individual honors

Notable alumni

Cory Alexander PG1995 1995 NBA draft 1st Round Pick—San Antonio Spurs (29th), Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic, Charlotte Bobcats
Justin Anderson G2015 2015 NBA draft 1st Round Pick—Dallas Mavericks (21st), Texas Legends, Philadelphia 76ers
Darion Atkins F2015 New York Knicks, Westchester Knicks, Hapoel Holon, SIG Basket
Malcolm Brogdon G2016 2016 NBA draft 2nd Round Pick–Milwaukee Bucks (36th). 2016-2017 NBA Rookie of the Year
Junior Burrough SF1995 Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets
Herb Busch C1959 New York Knicks
Rick Carlisle PG1984Player: Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, New Jersey Nets; Coach: Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers
Steve Castellan C1979Boston Celtics
John Crotty PG1991Charlotte Hornets, Utah Jazz, Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle SuperSonics, Detroit Pistons
Frank DeWitt F1972 Buffalo Braves
Kenton Edelin C1984Indiana Pacers
Mustapha Farrakhan Jr. G2011 Bakersfield Jam, Iowa Energy, Sioux Falls Skyforce, Idaho Stampede, Melbourne Tigers, Oklahoma City Blue
Gus Gerard C1974 Carolina Cougars, St Louis Spirits, Denver Nuggets, Buffalo Braves, Detroit Pistons, Kansas City Kings, San Antonio Spurs
Anthony Gill F2016 Yeşilgiresun Belediye, BC Khimki
Kyle Guy G20192019 Final Four Most Outstanding Player, 2019 NBA draft 2nd round pick—Sacramento Kings (55th)
Devon Hall G2018 2018 NBA draft 2nd round pick—Oklahoma City Thunder (53rd), Cairns Taipans
Joe Harris G2014 2014 NBA draft 2nd Round Pick—Cleveland Cavaliers (33rd), Canton Charge, Brooklyn Nets
De'Andre Hunter F2019 2019 NBA draft 1st round pick—Atlanta Hawks (4th)
Marc Iavaroni PF1978Player: New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz; Coach: Memphis Grizzlies
Ty Jerome G2019 2019 NBA draft 1st round pick—Phoenix Suns (24th)
Jeff Jones PG1982Player: Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors; Coach: Virginia, American, Old Dominion
Andrew Kennedy F1987Philadelphia 76ers
Jeff Lamp SG1981 1981 NBA draft 1st Round Pick—Portland Trail Blazers (5th), Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs
Bill Langloh G1977Boston Celtics
Lewis Lattimore F1981 Milwaukee Bucks
Roger Mason SG2002 Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks, Miami Heat
Scott McCandlish C1972Portland Trail Blazers
Jim Miller F1985Utah Jazz
Akil Mitchell F2014 Houston Rockets, Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Olympique Antibes, New Zealand Breakers, Long Island Nets
Cornel Parker G1994Golden State Warriors
Barry Parkhill G1973 1973 NBA draft 1st Round Pick—Portland Trail Blazers (15th), Virginia Squires, St Louis Spirits
London Perrantes G2017San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers
Olden Polynice C1987 1987 NBA draft 1st Round Pick—Chicago Bulls (11th), Seattle SuperSonics, Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons, Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers
Lee Raker F1981 San Diego Clippers
J.R. Reynolds PG2007 Guerino Vanoli Basket, ASVEL Basket, NSB Napoli, Cimberio Varese, Orléans Loiret Basket, Maine Red Claws, BCM Gravelines, Bnei HaSharon, BCM Gravelines, Limoges CSP, Budućnost Podgorica, Stelmet Zielona Góra, Torku Konyaspor
Craig RobinsonF1983Boston Celtics
Jamal Robinson SF/SG1997Portland Trail Blazers, Miami Heat
Ralph Sampson C1983 1983 NBA draft 1st Round Pick—Houston Rockets (1st), Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Washington Bullets
Mike Scott PF2012 2012 NBA draft 2nd Round Pick—Atlanta Hawks (43rd), Washington Wizards
Tom Sheehey F1987Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls
Sean Singletary PG2008 2008 NBA draft 2nd Round Pick—Sacramento Kings (42nd), Phoenix Suns, Charlotte Bobcats
Curtis Staples SG1998Player: United States men's national basketball team (1997 Summer Universiade); Coach: Virginia Episcopal School
Bryant Stith SF1992 1992 NBA draft 1st Round Pick—Denver Nuggets (13th), Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers
Ricky Stokes PG1984Coach: Virginia Tech, East Carolina
Mike Tobey C2016 Greensboro Swarm, Charlotte Hornets, Valencia BC, CB 1939 Canarias
Wally Walker SF1976 1976 NBA draft 1st Round Pick—Portland Trail Blazers (5th), Seattle SuperSonics, Houston Rockets
Buzzy Wilkinson G1955Boston Celtics
Othell Wilson PG1984Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings

National honors

University Hall, UVA's home court from 1965 until 2006 University of Virginia University Hall.jpg
University Hall, UVA's home court from 1965 until 2006
Ralph Sampson, Virginia's most decorated player Ralph Sampson 2010.jpg
Ralph Sampson, Virginia's most decorated player
Naismith College Player of the Year
1981Ralph Sampson
1982Ralph Sampson
1983Ralph Sampson
Oscar Robertson Trophy
1981Ralph Sampson
1982Ralph Sampson
1983Ralph Sampson
John R. Wooden Award
1982Ralph Sampson
1983Ralph Sampson
Adolph Rupp Trophy
1981Ralph Sampson
1982Ralph Sampson
1983Ralph Sampson
NABC Defensive Player of the Year
2016Malcolm Brogdon
2019De'Andre Hunter
Lefty Driesell Award
2015Darion Atkins
1915 William Strickling
1955 Buzzy Wilkinson
1972 Barry Parkhill
1973 Barry Parkhill
1980 Jeff Lamp
1980Ralph Sampson
1981 Jeff Lamp
1981Ralph Sampson *
1982 Ralph Sampson *
1983 Ralph Sampson *
2008 Sean Singletary **
2012 Mike Scott
2015 Malcolm Brogdon
2015Justin Anderson
2016 Malcolm Brogdon *
2018Kyle Guy
2019Kyle Guy
2019 De'Andre Hunter
2019 Ty Jerome **
Academic All-American
1973Jim Hobgood
1976Wally Walker
1980Lee Raker
1981Jeff Lamp
1981Lee Raker
^* Consensus First-Team All-American.
^** AP Honorable-Mention All-American.

Retired numbers

Malcolm Brogdon, the most recent Cavalier to have his number retired, went on to win the 2017 NBA Rookie of the Year Award. Malcolm Brogdon 2014.jpg
Malcolm Brogdon, the most recent Cavalier to have his number retired, went on to win the 2017 NBA Rookie of the Year Award.

The Cavaliers have retired eight numbers to date: [28]

Virginia Cavaliers retired numbers
3 Jeff Lamp SG 1977–81
14 Buzzy Wilkinson G 1951–54
15 Malcolm Brogdon G 2011–16
20 Bryant Stith SG 1988–92
40 Barry Parkhill G 1969–73
41 Wally Walker F 1972–76
44 Sean Singletary PG 2004–08
50 Ralph Sampson C 1979–83

Retired jerseys

The University of Virginia's athletic department has issued the following statement distinguishing "retired jerseys" from "retired numbers": "Jersey retirement honors Virginia players who have significantly impacted the program. Individuals recognized in this way will have their jerseys retired, but their number will remain active." [29]

Virginia Cavaliers retired jerseys
5 Curtis Staples SG 1994–1998
44 Sean Singletary PG 2004–2008


  1. First attaining the No. 1 seed in the East in 1981, No. 1 in the South in 1982, No. 1 in the West in 1983, and No. 1 in the Midwest in 2016. The other program is Kentucky.
  2. This is the only NCAA Tournament game that Virginia has lost in overtime. UVA's record in NCAA Tournament overtime periods is 4–1 as of 2019.

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  29. 2008 Virginia Football Media Guide, page 175. The University of Virginia has not released a similar policy statement regarding basketball jerseys, but the same "retired jerseys" terminology is being used as to both the football and basketball programs.