Location: Charlottesville, VA
Coach: Tony Bennett
Kenpom ranking: 4
Good wins (Kenpom ranking): Notre Dame (10), North Carolina (16), Louisville (18)
Bad losses (Kenpom ranking): None
Tournament appearances: 18
Best result: Final Four (1981, 1984)
NBA alumni: Mike Scott, Ralph Sampson, Olden Polynice
Best name: London Perrantes
Famous alumni: Tina Fey, Woodrow Wilson, Katie Couric
Fans of fun and excitement stay away: Tony Bennett has worked the Cavaliers into the best defensive team in the country. The Hoos dip their opponents in basketball molasses and smile as they writhe through horrendous possessions. Their stingy defense and plodding pace makes 10-point leads seem like 35.
Style of play: Cavalier constriction
There's no gimmick here. None of UVA's players are elite shotblockers. The team doesn't play intense pressure, seeking to force turnovers. They don't play an exotic zone. They just guard the heck out of you for 35 seconds, make you take awful shots and grab all the rebounds. Teams score just 84 points per 100 possessions against the Cavaliers, lowest in the nation, and with their aggressively slow pace of play, it's hard to fight back.
Key player: Gill the non-Thrill
It's really tough to discern a star player on a squad whose key attribute is firm, unwavering team defense. Malcolm Brogdon got all-ACC honors, but we think the unsung guy here is Anthony Gill, who plays the majority of minutes at center. He creates offense out of the Cavaliers' failed offense, ripping down 16 percent of his team's misses (eighth best in the nation) and hitting 59 percent of his shots. He provides key paint contests that contribute to the Cavs' suffocating interior defense.