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The Confidential

The ACC Sports Blog

Will UVA Return to the Final Four in 2020?

While we are in the dog days of summer, the most diehard college basketball fans are already making predictions for the 2019-20 season. While the University of Virginia is the reigning national champion, most experts would agree that they will not start the 2019-20 season in the top 10. They lost almost every important starter from the championship team. While these athletes are playing in the NBA or in Europe, Tony Bennett will be molding a new team with the pack line defense and efficient offense.

The ACC will be stacked again in 2019-20 with Duke and UNC likely being preseason top 10 programs. With highly sought after recruits and Hall of Fame coaches, it is hard to imagine a time when both Duke and UNC are not in the Top 10 in basketball. Every time you count one of these programs out, they come out and win 30 games and make the Elite 8. It is almost as if they thrive off being the underdog.

Has this become Tony Bennett’s new skill? Has he created a program in which he plays the underdog card? Was the loss to the #16 seed UMBC just what he needed to get his first national championship? It sure seems this way, which means UVA will be a great team in 2019-20. Basically everyone is counting them out this year. The same could be said last year when the NCAA Tournament started.

I do not know a single college basketball analyst or expert that is picking UVA to go back to the Final Four in 2020. In fact, most have them outside the top 10 and not even one of the top 3 seeds for next years tournament. It will be interesting to see how UVA plays during the ACC conference season as they will likely have a chip on their shoulder. Unlike Kentucky, Duke and UNC, this reigning national champion will not be expected to be in the Final Four the following year.

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