With three weeks to go before the start of the Virginia Cavaliers men’s basketball 2023-2024 season, the preseason AP Poll has come out with the the Wahoos coming in unranked, but receiving the sixth most votes of the unranked teams. So, 31st?
FIRST AP POLL OF THE 2023-2024 SEASON!— NCAA March Madness (@MarchMadnessMBB) October 16, 2023
4. Michigan State
In all seriousness, this is actually the first time that UVA has been unranked in the preseason poll since 2018. After that, the ‘Hoos had a two loss regular season and were seeded no. 1 overall in the NCAA Tournament. We’ll omit what happened afterwards for the sake of everyone enjoying their Monday.
In the top-25 there are three ACC teams including #2 Duke, #13 Miami, and #19 North Carolina. Interestingly, Virginia doesn’t play a single one of these opponents until February 5th and only play each of them once. In our 10 bold predictions for the upcoming season, we reasoned that could give the Wahoos an opportunity to rack up a bunch of wins early in ACC play, and clearly the AP agrees with such sentiment. Virginia was also the only ACC team to receive votes but not be among the top-25.
Candidly, it makes sense that voters are a bit uncertain about UVA this season. There are so many new pieces and so many unknowns. Especially with national voters unaware of the talent levels of some of the underrated players on Virginia’s roster such as Leon Bond, Dante Harris, and Andrew Rohde, 31st feels just about right for this squad at this moment in time.
Interestingly, only one of UVA’s non-conference opponents — Texas A&M at #15 — are ranked. But three of the others were included alongside the ‘Hoos in the “receiving votes” category with Wisconsin (26th most), Memphis (37th most), and Florida (41st most) all considered among the upper echelon of college basketball this season.
Stay tuned to Streaking the Lawn and our Virginia Basketball 2023-2024 Countdown for further coverage as we inch closer to the season opener in three weeks!!