Virginia Cavaliers (27-6, 16-2 ACC)- Virginia went wire-to-wire in the ACC, dominating one of the nation’s toughest conferences with a 16-2 record. The Cavaliers play tough, unforgiving man-to-man defense and don’t give away easy points. They guard very well in the team concept and swarm the ball in the paint.
Senior Joe Harris is perhaps the team’s best player, averaging 11.6 points per game. He’s capable of going for 20 or 30, though. Harris is a terrific shooter and routinely creates shots for his teammates. 6-5 sophomore guard Malcolm Brogdon can also claim to be UVA’s alpha dog, as he puts up 12.3 points and 5.6 boards per game. He’s a good three-point shooter as well, knocking down the trey at 36%.
Head coach Tony Bennett is one of the nation’s best. He took Washington State–Washington State!–to the Sweet 16 a few years back and now has things rolling in Charlottesville. It wouldn’t be surprising to see Bennett bring this group to the Final Four.
1st Points Allowed per Game (55.1)
7th Opponents Field Goal Percentage (38.5)
3rd Points Allowed per Game (0.88)
16. Coastal Carolina Chanticleers (21-12, 11-5 Big South)- To stop the Big South champion Chanticleers (coolest nickname in college hoops?), you’ve got to key on their three-headed monster of a backcourt in guards Elijah Wilson (16.1 ppg) , Warren Gillis (14.8 ppg) and Josh Cameron (14.1 ppg). That trio accounts for over 60 percent of Coastal Carolina’s offense.
Though only a freshman, Wilson has provided a tremendous scoring lift for the Chanticleers. He doesn’t create much for others though, averaging only 0.9 assists per game.
The Chanticleers try to force teams to take three-pointers, and give up 33.6% of opponents’ points from beyond the arc. They are one of the youngest teams in the tournament, with only two seniors.
Rebounds 11th (39.6)
Points per Game 125th (72.7)
Assists per Game 327th (10.6)