The 2017-18 men’s basketball season is now finished as the Villanova Wildcats have claimed the title for the second time in three seasons. Virginia’s season was tumultuous as the Hoos pounded away to a 28-2 regular season record, an ACC regular season title, and the ACC tournament title. Tony Bennett and the Cavaliers set a new program record with 31 wins and attained the No. 1 ranking in the AP poll for the first time in over 35 years.
Last season, the Hoos lost London Perrantes to graduation and Marial Shayok, Darius Thompson, and Jarred Reuter to transfer. Virginia was absent in all the preseason rankings, but the Cavaliers worked their way up to the top. This year, the “experts” aren’t making the same mistake. Sure, the Hoos lost in shocking fashion to UMBC in the first ever 16-1 upset in the tournament, but Coach Bennett returns three of his five starters in Ty Jerome, Kyle Guy, and Jack Salt. On top of that, ACC Sixth Man of the Year DeAndre Hunter comes back after missing the NCAA tournament with a wrist injury, and the Hoos bring back 62.8% of their minutes and 67.1% of their points.
We compiled all the “way too early” rankings that have been released to see where Virginia falls. Below, we’ve noted where the Cavaliers fall and who was ranked No. 1 in preseason rankings from USA TODAY, Yahoo!, SB Nation, CBS Sports, ESPN, FRZ Hoops (Jon Rothstein), The Athletic ($$), Sporting News, NBC Sports, and KenPom.
2018-19 Virginia Basketball “Way Too Early” Rankings
|FRZHoops (Jon Rothstein)||6||Kansas|
Kansas was a nearly-unanimous decision for preseason No. 1 (with just Sam Vecenie of the Athletic choosing Duke) as they return several starters and add the Lawson brother who are transferring in from Memphis. Duke brings in the top three recruits in the country to reload after one-and-dones Marvin Bagley, Gary Trent Jr., Wendell Carter, and Trevon Duval all leave. Villanova somehow graduates no one, but will probably lose Mikal Bridges and Jalen Brunson to the NBA. The Wildcats bring in Jahvon Quinerly (who was involved in the Arizona pay-to-play scandal) and two other top-50 recruits.
How do you think the Hoos stack up for next season?
Where should Virginia start next season in the rankings?
This poll is closed