On Thursday night the ACC released its full schedule for the 2021-2022 men’s basketball season on ACC Network. With the release came the completion of the Virginia Cavaliers’ schedule for this upcoming season.
Full ACC schedule for UVA this year: pic.twitter.com/ebkkRbtJcW— Zach Carey (@zach_carey_) September 16, 2021
As tough as the ACC schedule always is for the Wahoos, there are a few key points that could make or break Virginia’s shot at repeating as regular season conference champions.
After two ACC contests in early and mid-December, the Cavaliers kick of conference play in earnest with an absurd three game road trip. Playing on New Years’ Day at Syracuse, January 4th at Clemson, and January 8th at North Carolina, Virginia won’t have time to get comfortable before being tested.
The ‘Hoos will be playing three games in six days from January 19th to January 24th. Kicking off with a road game against Pitt on Wednesday the 19th, the ‘Hoos then head to N.C. State Friday night for another gritty matchup before coming home for a Monday night tilt against Louisville. While, mercifully, there’s no Duke, North Carolina, or Florida State in that stretch, it’s undoubtedly going to be a make-or-break week for the Wahoos as they look to get a foothold in league competition with a fairly inexperienced squad.
Virginia then has a tough Saturday-Monday turnaround in early February with a home game against Miami on the 5th and then a road game against Duke on the 7th. As Tony Bennett likes to say, these two-day turnarounds ought to provide the ‘Hoos a chance to get a feel for a tournament play setting.
The Cavaliers then close out their season with a final contest against Coach K and Duke on February 23rd at home, another home contest for senior day against Florida State on the 26th, and then on the road in UVA’s home away from home, the KFC Yum! Center against Louisville on March 5th.
All in all, this is a fairly brutal schedule for the ‘Hoos. The three game road trip is harsh especially for a team that only boasts two players with significant experience in ACC play. Fortunately there’s no trip down to Tallahassee, and the home-and-away gives Virginia a good shot at getting one last bow in on Coach K before he retires.
As always, it’s going to be a gauntlet of a conference slate for UVA this year. Ideally the team will be able to test its mettle in non-conference play against teams like Houston and Georgia in order to be as ready as possible come January.