Virginia Cavaliers men's basketball

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Virginia Cavaliers
2023–24 Virginia Cavaliers men's basketball team
UniversityUniversity of Virginia
First season1905–06
All-time record1719–1204–1 (.588)
Athletic directorCarla Williams
Head coachTony Bennett (15th season)
ConferenceAtlantic Coast Conference
LocationCharlottesville, Virginia
ArenaJohn Paul Jones Arena
(Capacity: 14,623)
NicknameCavaliers (official)
Wahoos (unofficial)
Student sectionHoo Crew
ColorsOrange and blue[1]
Home jersey
Team colours
Away jersey
Team colours

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
1976, 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, 2021, 2023, 2024
Conference tournament champions
1976, 2014, 2018
Conference regular season champions
1922, 1981, 1982, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2023
NIT tournament champions
1980, 1992

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 (ACC) in Division I of the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA). Virginia has won the 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 (14,623) which opened in 2006. They have been called the Cavaliers since 1923, predating the Cleveland Cavaliers of the NBA by half a century.

Virginia won its first NCAA Championship in 2019, and won the last third-place game ever played at the Final Four in 1981. The Cavaliers have been ranked in the Top 5 of the AP Poll more than 100 times since 1980,[2] and have received seven No. 1 seeds in the NCAA tournament.[3]

Virginia was a top program in the early years of college basketball under the tutelage of Pop Lannigan from 1905 to 1929 and a consistent winner under multi-sport coach Gus Tebell from 1930 to 1951, but the Cavaliers struggled through 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 11 ACC season titles, third-most in conference history. In the recent 18-game ACC era (2012–2019), Virginia had four out of the five ACC teams that finished 16–2 or better in conference play.[4] As of 2024, Virginia has had 13 consecutive winning ACC seasons, the longest active streak among ACC programs.[5]


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.[6] 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.[6] Inviting Kentucky back to Memorial Gymnasium in 1928, Virginia again won, 31–28.[6] Lannigan held the Virginia record for best career winning percentage by a head coach (254–95 (.728)) until he was surpassed by Tony Bennett, who was hired 104 years after the start of 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.[7] 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 won UVA's first ACC Tournament championship, and led UVA to its first two NCAA Final Fours.

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.[8] 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.[9] Both the shot clock and three-point line were implemented into college basketball during the same decade in part to combat such shenanigans.[9] 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,[a] 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."[10] 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.[11] ESPN called Virginia's 2018–19 campaign "the most redemptive season in the history of college basketball."[12] CBS This Morning called it "basketball's ultimate redemption story" the morning after the national championship match.[13]

As of 2023, Bennett has led Virginia to the program's first NCAA Tournament Championship, third Final Four, second and third ACC Tournament Championships, and six of eleven seasons Virginia has finished first in the ACC season standings. He holds the single-season wins record with 35 from the 2018–19 season, breaking his own previous record of 31.

NCAA Final Four teams[edit]

Virginia is 3–2 at Final Four events and won the 2019 NCAA tournament championship.

1981: Sampson and Goliath[edit]

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 then handled 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. Although UVA swept North Carolina in the ACC regular season, the Tar Heels defeated the Cavaliers when it mattered most, in the national semifinals. Virginia closed 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[edit]

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: Redemption National Championship[edit]

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.

Coming off a loss to 16-seed UMBC a year prior, the Virginia team returned with a vaunted Bennett defense along with the three-pronged offensive attack of De'Andre Hunter, Kyle Guy, and Ty Jerome.[14] The Cavaliers began and ended the season ranked in the AP Top 5, with a 28–2 regular season record and both losses to Zion Williamson's AP No. 1 ranked Duke squad under Coach Krzyzewski.[15][16] Those two Virginia–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.[17] In the ACC Tournament, Virginia defeated bubble team NC State 76–56 before being defeated by Florida State, 69–59.[18][19] Entering the NCAA Tournament, Virginia was a No. 1 seed in the South region, Duke was the No. 1 overall seed and placed in the East region, while North Carolina also received a No. 1 seed but in the Midwest region. The only No. 1 seed from another conference was Gonzaga in the West, later to be defeated by Texas Tech in the Elite Eight.

Virginia was the sole No. 1 seed of the tournament to advance to the Final Four after defeating Purdue. After first defeating Gardner-Webb, Oklahoma, and Oregon, they met the Boilermakers in the Elite Eight. Purdue's Carsen Edwards scored 42 points against Virginia, setting an individual scoring record against a Bennett-coached team.[20][21] With Virginia down by three points with 5.9 seconds to play, Ty Jerome stepped to the line for two free throws,[21] converting the first but missing the second. Mamadi Diakite back tapped the ball into the backcourt where Kihei Clark recovered it and passed back to Diakite with one second remaining in the game.[21] Diakite immediately scored, and the game went into overtime.[21] 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.

In the Final Four, Virginia met the Auburn Tigers who had already dispatched Kansas, North Carolina, and Kentucky to get there.[22] This game was a back-and-forth battle as Virginia trailed the Tigers at halftime, 31–28. Virginia led by as many as 10 points in the second half before Auburn retook the lead late in the game.[22] Down 61–57 with 7.7 seconds remaining, Guy scored a three-point shot from the right corner.[22] Harper then converted one of two free throws to lead 62–60.[22] Two controversial[23] non-calls (one against Auburn, one against Virginia) by officials preceded Auburn being called for a foul with 1.5 seconds remaining.[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. Guy converted all three free throws to put Virginia into the 2019 NCAA Tournament Championship Game.[24]

The National Championship match was headlined by two of the top defenses in college basketball, Virginia and the Texas Tech Red Raiders.[25] Texas Tech did not score a field goal for the first 7 minutes and 11 seconds of the game, but eventually tied the game at 19 with 7 minutes and 33 seconds remaining in the first half. The teams traded leads until halftime, with Virginia holding a 32–29 advantage at intermission.[25] 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 respectively in the first half, but Hunter shot 7-for-8 in the second half 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.[26] Texas Tech rallied from a deficit to take a late lead before Virginia scored in the closing seconds to take the game into overtime.[25] Virginia outscored Texas Tech 17–9 in overtime to win their first national title 85–77.[25]

Virginia ended the season with a 35–3 record, breaking the school record for wins in a single-season.[25] The team was 29–0 after leading at halftime.[25] The Cavaliers were the first first-time champions of the NCAA Tournament since the University of Florida thirteen years earlier.[25] In light of the previous year's loss to UMBC, ESPN called Virginia's championship run "the most redemptive season in the history of college basketball," and NBC Sports described it as "the greatest redemption story in the history of sports."[27][12]

ACC Tournament championship teams[edit]

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

1976: Miracle in Landover[edit]

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 2-seed Maryland, longtime border rivals that had just defeated UVA five days earlier at Cole Fieldhouse. Virginia defeated the AP No. 9 Terrapins, before dispatching top-seeded and AP No. 4 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[edit]

Darion Atkins with the Cavaliers in November 2014

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 forgettable 9–4 start, punctuated by a 35-point road loss at Tennessee. Following a pivotal conversation between star G/F Joe Harris and 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 ACC regular season title outright for the first time since 1981, allowing them to enter the 2014 ACC men's basketball tournament as the 1-seed.

After cruising against 8th seeded Florida State, Virginia held off 4th-seeded Pittsburgh in the final seconds of the semifinal, setting up a championship game 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 in 38 years. Joe Harris was named tournament MVP while Malcolm Brogdon joined him as a 1st team selection. In the process, UVA defeated every ACC opponent at least once in a season for the first time since 1982.

2018: Calm before the storm[edit]

London Perrantes

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 No. 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)[edit]

Statistics overview
Season Coach Overall Conference Standing Postseason
Terry Holland (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1974–1990)
1979–80 Terry Holland 24–10 7–7 5th NIT Championship
1980–81 Terry Holland 29–4 13–1 1st NCAA Final Four
1981–82 Terry Holland 30–4 12–2 T–1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1982–83 Terry Holland 29–5 12–2 T–1st NCAA Elite Eight
1983–84 Terry Holland 21–12 6–8 6th NCAA Final Four
1984–85 Terry Holland 17–16 3–11 8th NIT Quarterfinals
1985–86 Terry Holland 19–11 7–7 5th NCAA First Round
1986–87 Terry Holland 21–10 8–6 4th NCAA First Round
1987–88 Terry Holland 13–18 5–9 6th
1988–89 Terry Holland 22–11 9–5 3rd NCAA Elite Eight
1989–90 Terry Holland 20–12 6–8 5th NCAA Second Round
Terry Holland: 326–173 (.653) 111–103 (.519)
Jeff Jones (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1990–1998)
1990–91 Jeff Jones 21–12 6–8 6th NCAA First Round
1991–92 Jeff Jones 20–13 8–8 5th NIT Championship
1992–93 Jeff Jones 21–10 9–7 5th NCAA Sweet Sixteen
1993–94 Jeff Jones 18–13 8–8 4th NCAA Second Round
1994–95 Jeff Jones 25–9 12–4 T–1st NCAA Elite Eight
1995–96 Jeff Jones 12–15 6–10 7th
1996–97 Jeff Jones 18–13 7–9 6th NCAA First Round
1997–98 Jeff Jones 11–19 3–13 9th
Jeff Jones: 146–104 (.584) 59–67 (.468)
Pete Gillen (Atlantic Coast Conference) (1998–2005)
1998–99 Pete Gillen 14–16 4–12 9th
1999–00 Pete Gillen 19–12 9–7 3rd NIT First Round
2000–01 Pete Gillen 20–9 9–7 4th NCAA First Round
2001–02 Pete Gillen 17–12 7–9 5th NIT First Round
2002–03 Pete Gillen 16–16 6–10 6th NIT Second Round
2003–04 Pete Gillen 18–13 6–10 8th NIT Second Round
2004–05 Pete Gillen 14–15 4–12 11th
Pete Gillen: 118–93 (.559) 45–67 (.402)
Dave Leitao (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2005–2009)
2005–06 Dave Leitao 15–15 7–9 7th NIT First Round
2006–07 Dave Leitao 21–11 11–5 T–1st NCAA Second Round
2007–08 Dave Leitao 17–16 5–11 10th CBI Semifinals
2008–09 Dave Leitao 10–18 4–12 11th
Dave Leitao: 63–60 (.512) 27–37 (.422)
Tony Bennett (Atlantic Coast Conference) (2009–present)
2009–10 Tony Bennett 15–16 5–11 9th
2010–11 Tony Bennett 16–15 7–9 8th
2011–12 Tony Bennett 22–10 9–7 4th NCAA First Round
2012–13 Tony Bennett 23–12 11–7 4th NIT Quarterfinals
2013–14 Tony Bennett 30–7 16–2 1st NCAA Sweet Sixteen
2014–15 Tony Bennett 30–4 16–2 1st NCAA Second Round
2015–16 Tony Bennett 29–8 13–5 2nd NCAA Elite Eight
2016–17 Tony Bennett 23–11 11–7 T–5th NCAA Second Round
2017–18 Tony Bennett 31–3 17–1 1st NCAA First Round
2018–19 Tony Bennett 35–3 16–2 T–1st NCAA Champions
2019–20 Tony Bennett 23–7 15–5 T–2nd Cancelled
2020–21 Tony Bennett 18–7 13–4 1st NCAA First Round
2021–22 Tony Bennett 21–14 12–8 6th NIT Quarterfinals
2022–23 Tony Bennett 25–8 15–5 T–1st NCAA First Round
2023–24 Tony Bennett 23–11 13–7 3rd NCAA First Four
Tony Bennett: 364–136 (.728) 189–82 (.697)
Total: 1742–1215–1 (.589) 513–553 (.481)

      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[edit]

The Cavaliers have appeared in the NCAA tournament 26 times. Their combined record is 35–25. They were national champions in 2019.

Year Seed/Region Round Opponent Result
1976 East First Round DePaul L 60–69
1981 #1 East Second 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 Mideast Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
#9 Tennessee
#4 UAB
W 54–51
L 66–68
1983 #1 West Second 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 East First 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 East First Round #12 DePaul L 68–72
1987 #5 West First Round #12 Wyoming L 60–64
1989 #5 Southeast First 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 Southeast First Round
Second Round
#10 Notre Dame
#2 Syracuse
W 75–67
L 61–63
1991 #7 West First Round #10 BYU L 48–61
1993 #6 East First Round
Second Round
Sweet Sixteen
#11 Manhattan
#3 Massachusetts
#2 Cincinnati
W 78–66
W 71–56
L 54–71
1994 #7 West First Round
Second Round
#10 New Mexico
#2 Arizona
W 57–54
L 58–71
1995 #4 Midwest First 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 West First Round #8 Iowa L 60–73
2001 #5 South First Round #12 Gonzaga L 85–86
2007 #4 South First Round
Second Round
#13 Albany
#5 Tennessee
W 84–57
L 74–77
2012 #10 West First Round #7 Florida L 45–71
2014 #1 East Second Round
Third Round
Sweet Sixteen
#16 Coastal Carolina
#8 Memphis
#4 Michigan State
W 70–59
W 78–60
L 59–61
2015 #2 East Second Round
Third Round
#15 Belmont
#7 Michigan State
W 79–67
L 54–60
2016 #1 Midwest First 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 East First Round
Second Round
#12 UNC Wilmington
#4 Florida
W 76–71
L 39–65
2018 #1 South First Round #16 UMBC L 54–74
2019 #1 South First 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
2021 #4 West First Round #13 Ohio L 58–62
2023 #4 South First Round #13 Furman L 67–68
2024 #10 Midwest First Four #10 Colorado State L 42–67

NCAA Tournament seeding history[edit]

Virginia is one of five NCAA programs to earn a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Division I men's basketball tournament seven or more times.[3]

The NCAA began seeding the NCAA Tournament with the 1979 edition.[28] The 64-team field started in 1985, which guaranteed that a championship team had to win six games.[29]

Years → '81 '82 '83 '84 '86 '87 '89 '90 '91 '93 '94 '95 '97 '01 '07 '12 '14 '15 '16 '17 '18 '19 '21 '23 '24
Seeds → 1 1 1 7 5 5 5 7 7 6 7 4 9 5 4 10 1 2 1 5 1 1 4 4 10

NIT results[edit]

The Cavaliers have appeared in the National Invitation Tournament (NIT) 14 times. Their combined record is 19–12. They were NIT champions in 1980 and 1992.

Year Round Opponent Result
1941 Quarterfinals CCNY L 35–64
1972 First Round Lafayette L 71–72
1978 First Round Georgetown L 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 Round Georgetown L 111–1153OT
2002 First Round South Carolina L 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 Round Stanford L 49–65
2013 First Round
Second Round
Norfolk State
St. John's
W 67–56
W 68–50
L 64–75
2022 First Round
Second Round
Mississippi State
North Texas
St. Bonaventure
W 60–57
W 71–69OT
L 51–52

CBI results[edit]

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

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


Annual Home-and-Away Series[edit]

Louisville Cardinals[edit]

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 recent NCAA Championships — Louisville in 2013 and Virginia in 2019. UVA leads the all-time series 16–5.

Virginia Tech Hokies[edit]

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 95–56.

Other rivalries[edit]

North Carolina Tar Heels[edit]

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 131–60, but Virginia is 11–4 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[edit]

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 both won by Virginia on the road in College Park.


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

Virginia has had 11 head coaches lead the Cavaliers.[30] The longest tenure was Pop Lannigan, who coached the team for 24 years starting in 1905.

Head coach Years Win–loss Pct.
Henry Lannigan 1905–1929 254–95–1 .727
Roy Randall 1929–1930 3–12 .200
Gus Tebell 1930–1951 241–190 .559
Evan "Bus" Male 1951–1957 67–88 .432
Billy McCann 1957–1963 40–106 .274
Bill Gibson 1963–1974 120–158 .432
Terry Holland 1974–1990 326–173 .653
Jeff Jones 1990–1998 146–104 .584
Pete Gillen 1998–2005 118–93 .559
Dave Leitao 2005–2009 63–60 .512
Tony Bennett 2009–present 364–136 .728


Years of basketball 118
First season 1905–06
Head coaches (all-time) 11
All Games[31]
All-time record 1719–1204–1 (.588)
20+ win seasons 29 (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, 2020, 2022, 2023,2024)
30+ win seasons 5 (1982, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019)
Home Games[31]
John Paul Jones Arena (2006–present) 232–54 (.811)
University Hall (1965–2006) 402–143 (.738)
Memorial Gymnasium (1924–1965) 279–157 (.640)
Fayerweather Gymnasium (1905–1924) 134–19 (.876)
Conference Games[31]
Southern Conference Record (1921–1937) 73–79 (.480)
SoCon Regular Season Championship 1 (1922)
ACC Record (1953–present) 500–546 (.478)
ACC Regular Season Championships 10 (1981, 1982, 1983, 1995, 2007, 2014, 2015, 2018, 2019, 2021, 2023)
ACC tournament championships 3 (1976, 2014, 2018)
ACC Players of the Year 5 (Parkhill 1972; Sampson 1981, 1982, 1983; Brogdon 2016)
NCAA Tournament
NCAA Appearances 26
NCAA W–L record 35–25 (.583)
Sweet Sixteen 10 (1981, 1982, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1993, 1995, 2014, 2016, 2019)
Elite Eight 7 (1981, 1983, 1984, 1989, 1995, 2016, 2019)
Final Four 3 (1981, 1984, 2019)
National Championships 1 (2019)
National Invitation Tournament
NIT Appearances 14
NIT W–L record 19–12 (.613)
NIT Championships 2 (1980, 1992)
Accurate through 2023 season

Individual honors[edit]

Notable alumni[edit]

Name Position Year Notes
Cory Alexander PG 1995 1995 NBA draft 1st Round Pick—San Antonio Spurs (29th), Denver Nuggets, Orlando Magic, Charlotte Bobcats
Justin Anderson G 2015 2015 NBA draft 1st Round Pick—Dallas Mavericks (21st), Texas Legends, Philadelphia 76ers
Darion Atkins F 2015 New York Knicks, Westchester Knicks, Hapoel Holon, SIG Basket
Malcolm Brogdon G 2016 2016 NBA draft 2nd Round Pick–Milwaukee Bucks (36th). 2016-2017 NBA Rookie of the Year
Junior Burrough SF 1995 Boston Celtics, Charlotte Hornets
Herb Busch C 1959 New York Knicks
Rick Carlisle PG 1984 Player: Boston Celtics, New York Knicks, New Jersey Nets; Coach: Dallas Mavericks, Indiana Pacers
Steve Castellan C 1979 Boston Celtics
John Crotty PG 1991 Charlotte Hornets, Utah Jazz, Cleveland Cavaliers, Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers, Seattle SuperSonics, Detroit Pistons
Frank DeWitt F 1972 Buffalo Braves
Kenton Edelin C 1984 Indiana Pacers
Mustapha Farrakhan Jr. G 2011 Bakersfield Jam, Iowa Energy, Sioux Falls Skyforce, Idaho Stampede, Melbourne Tigers, Oklahoma City Blue
Gus Gerard C 1974 Carolina Cougars, St Louis Spirits, Denver Nuggets, Buffalo Braves, Detroit Pistons, Kansas City Kings, San Antonio Spurs
Anthony Gill F 2016 Yeşilgiresun Belediye, BC Khimki, Washington Wizards
Kyle Guy G 2019 2019 Final Four Most Outstanding Player, 2019 NBA draft 2nd round pick—Sacramento Kings (55th)
Devon Hall G 2018 2018 NBA draft 2nd round pick—Oklahoma City Thunder (53rd), Cairns Taipans
Joe Harris G 2014 2014 NBA draft 2nd Round Pick—Cleveland Cavaliers (33rd), Canton Charge, Brooklyn Nets
De'Andre Hunter F 2019 2019 NBA draft 1st round pick—Atlanta Hawks (4th)
Marc Iavaroni PF 1978 Player: New York Knicks, Portland Trail Blazers, Philadelphia 76ers, San Antonio Spurs, Utah Jazz; Coach: Memphis Grizzlies
Ty Jerome G 2019 2019 NBA draft 1st round pick—Phoenix Suns (24th), Oklahoma City Thunder
Jeff Jones PG 1982 Player: Indiana Pacers, Golden State Warriors; Coach: Virginia, American, Old Dominion
Andrew Kennedy F 1987 Philadelphia 76ers, 1996 Israeli Basketball Premier League MVP
Jeff Lamp SG 1981 1981 NBA draft 1st Round Pick—Portland Trail Blazers (5th), Indiana Pacers, Milwaukee Bucks, Los Angeles Lakers, San Antonio Spurs
Bill Langloh G 1977 Boston Celtics
Lewis Lattimore F 1981 Milwaukee Bucks
Roger Mason SG 2002 Chicago Bulls, Toronto Raptors, Washington Wizards, San Antonio Spurs, New York Knicks, Miami Heat
Scott McCandlish C 1972 Portland Trail Blazers
Jim Miller F 1985 Utah Jazz
Akil Mitchell F 2014 Houston Rockets, Rio Grande Valley Vipers, Olympique Antibes, New Zealand Breakers, Long Island Nets, Maccabi Rishon LeZion
Cornel Parker G 1994 Golden State Warriors
Barry Parkhill G 1973 1973 NBA draft 1st Round Pick—Portland Trail Blazers (15th), Virginia Squires, St Louis Spirits
London Perrantes G 2017 San Antonio Spurs, Cleveland Cavaliers, Hapoel Gilboa Galil of the Israeli Basketball Premier League
Olden Polynice C 1987 1987 NBA draft 1st Round Pick—Chicago Bulls (11th), Seattle SuperSonics, Los Angeles Clippers, Detroit Pistons, Sacramento Kings, Utah Jazz, Philadelphia 76ers
Lee Raker F 1981 San Diego Clippers
J.R. Reynolds PG 2007 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 Robinson F 1983 Boston Celtics
Jamal Robinson SF/SG 1997 Portland Trail Blazers, Miami Heat
Ralph Sampson C 1983 1983 NBA draft 1st Round Pick—Houston Rockets (1st), Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings, Washington Bullets
Mike Scott PF 2012 2012 NBA draft 2nd Round Pick—Atlanta Hawks (43rd), Washington Wizards
Tom Sheehey F 1987 Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls
Sean Singletary PG 2008 2008 NBA draft 2nd Round Pick—Sacramento Kings (42nd), Phoenix Suns, Charlotte Bobcats
Curtis Staples SG 1998 Player: United States men's national basketball team (1997 Summer Universiade); Coach: Virginia Episcopal School
Bryant Stith SF 1992 1992 NBA draft 1st Round Pick—Denver Nuggets (13th), Boston Celtics, Cleveland Cavaliers, Los Angeles Clippers
Ricky Stokes PG 1984 Coach: Virginia Tech, East Carolina
Mike Tobey C 2016 Greensboro Swarm, Charlotte Hornets, Valencia BC, CB 1939 Canarias
Wally Walker SF 1976 1976 NBA draft 1st Round Pick—Portland Trail Blazers (5th), Seattle SuperSonics, Houston Rockets
Buzzy Wilkinson G 1955 Boston Celtics
Othell Wilson PG 1984 Golden State Warriors, Sacramento Kings

National honors[edit]

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

Retired numbers[edit]

The Cavaliers have retired eight numbers to date:[32]

Ftr: Jeff Lamp, Malcolm Brogdon, Barry Parkhill, and Wally Walker, whose numbers were retired by Virginia
Virginia Cavaliers retired numbers
No. Player Pos. Career
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[edit]

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."[33]

Virginia Cavaliers retired jerseys
No. Player Pos. Career
5 Curtis Staples SG 1994–1998
44 Sean Singletary PG 2004–2008

All-time leaders[edit]


  1. ^ 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.


  1. ^ "Athletics Color Palette". University of Virginia Consumer Product Brand Standards (PDF). Retrieved January 16, 2023.
  2. ^ Men's Basketball Appearances in the AP Top 5: 1980–81 to Present, accessed November 21, 2022.
  3. ^ a b NCAA Tournament All-Time No. 1 Seeds History, NCAA, accessed January 27, 2021.
  4. ^ Cavs' in league of their own in ACC, accessed August 15, 2019
  5. ^ David Teel. "Victory over UNC elevates UVA's Bennett into rare company". Richmond Times-Dispatch, February 13, 2021. Accessed August 26, 2021. Note that the article mentions it was the second-longest at the time, before Duke failed to achieve a winning record in that season.
  6. ^ a b c The News Leader, Henry Lannigan obituary, Staunton, Virginia. Published December 26, 1930.
  7. ^ 2013-14 Atlantic Coast Conference Men's Basketball Media Guide, p.145-156.
  8. ^ Ralph Sampson's Decision, accessed April 10, 2019
  9. ^ a b With Four Coners, Dean Smith Changed Basketball, accessed April 15, 2019
  10. ^ Bennett begins task after day of praise, accessed April 15, 2019
  11. ^ 2019 NCAA Tournament championship: Virginia completes epic journey from last year's ugly exit to win its first title, accessed April 10, 2019
  12. ^ a b Virginia's redemption was one year, 23 days in the making, accessed March 10, 2019
  13. ^ Virginia wins first NCAA basketball championship in epic comeback, accessed April 11, 2019
  14. ^ Virginia Cavaliers' clogging defense prevails, accessed April 13, 2019
  15. ^ 2019 Preseason AP Men'a Basketball Poll, accessed April 13, 2019
  16. ^ 2019 Final AP Men's Basketball Poll, accessed April 13, 2019
  17. ^ Duke-UVA Trails Only UVA-Duke as Top Game of Season, accessed April 10, 2019
  18. ^ NC State Falls 76-56 to Virginia in ACC Tournament Quarterfinals, accessed April 13, 2019
  19. ^ Florida State Upends No.@ Virginia 69-59 in ACC Semis, accessed April 13, 2019
  20. ^ "Most ever against a Bennett-coached team" mentioned during the live radio broadcast of this game by WWWV.
  21. ^ a b c d Purdue's Carsen Edwards Had 42 Points Yet Virginia Somehow Advanced, accessed April 13, 2019
  22. ^ a b c d e CBS national broadcast of Virginia vs. Auburn. April 6, 2019
  23. ^ National championship predictions: Will UVa or Texas Tech win first title?, accessed April 13, 2019. Quote from Jeff Borzello of ESPN Insider: "As for Saturday night, it was a clear foul by Samir Doughty on Kyle Guy. End of discussion. Fouled him on the way up, and didn't let him land. The missed-double-dribble debate is a different story, but then we have to get into a debate about the missed foul when Bryce Brown grabbed Ty Jerome a split second before the double dribble. Missed calls happen. It is what it is."
  24. ^ Auburn Fans Celebrate Prematurely, accessed April 3, 2020
  25. ^ a b c d e f g CBS national broadcast of Virginia vs. Texas Tech in the NCAA Tournament Championship Game. April 8, 2019
  26. ^ De'Andre Hunter Comes Up Clutch on Career Night to Close Chapter at UVA, accessed April 13, 2019
  27. ^ Who will be the next head coach to win their first national title?, accessed August 8, 2019
  28. ^ "Tourney History – NCAA Division I Men's Basketball Championship". Retrieved August 6, 2008.
  29. ^ Shelton, Harold, Nick Loucks and Chris Fallica (July 21, 2008). "Counting down the most prestigious programs since 1984–85". ESPN. Retrieved August 6, 2008.{{cite web}}: CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  30. ^ "All-Time Results". Retrieved 1 January 2015.
  31. ^ a b c d "2020–21 Virginia Men's Basketball Factbook" (PDF). VIRGINIASPORTS.COM – Virginia Cavaliers Official Athletic Site. pp. 1–136. Retrieved 21 March 2021.
  32. ^ "Malcolm Brogdon's Number To Be Retired" (Press release). Virginia Cavaliers. December 15, 2016. Retrieved December 15, 2016.
  33. ^ 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.

External links[edit]