The Virginia Cavaliers have released their 2015-2016 basketball schedule. Virginia, looking to defend its second consecutive ACC regular season title, will play 30 regular season matchups this year - 12 out-of-conference games, followed by 18 ACC games.
Here's the full schedule - some thoughts follow:
|Virginia Cavaliers 2015-2016 Basketball Schedule|
|Fri.||Nov. 13||Morgan State||TBA|
|Mon.||Nov. 16||@ George Washington||7:30 PM||ESPN2|
|Thurs.||Nov. 19||vs. Bradley (Charleston Classic)||9:30 PM||ESPN2|
|Fri.||Nov. 20||vs. Long Beach St. OR Seton Hall (Charleston Classic)||7 or 9:30 PM||ESPNU/ESPN3|
|Sun.||Nov. 22||vs. Oklahoma St. OR Towson OR Ole Miss OR GMU (Charleston Classic)||TBA||ESPN2/ESPNU/ESPN3|
|Tues.||Dec. 1||@ Ohio State||7:30 PM||ESPN|
|Wed.||Dec. 5||William and Mary||TBA|
|Tues.||Dec. 8||vs. West Virginia (MSG)||7 PM||ESPN|
|Tues.||Dec. 22||California||9 PM||ESPN2|
|Wed.||Dec. 30||Oakland||6 PM||ESPNU|
|Sat.||Jan. 2||Notre Dame||5 PM||ESPN2|
|Mon.||Jan. 4||@ Virginia Tech||9 PM||ESPN2|
|Sat.||Jan. 9||@ Georgia Tech||2 or 2:30 PM|
|Tues.||Jan. 12||Miami||7 PM||ESPNU|
|Sun.||Jan. 17||@ Florida State||6:30 PM||ESPNU|
|Tues.||Jan. 19||Clemson||9 PM|
|Sat.||Jan. 23||Syracuse||Noon||ESPN or ESPN2|
|Mon.||Jan. 25||@ Wake Forest||9 PM||ESPNU|
|Sat.||Jan. 30||@ Louisville||1 PM||CBS|
|Wed.||Feb. 3||Boston College||TBA||RSN|
|Sat.||Feb. 6||@ Pittsburgh||Noon|
|Tues.||Feb. 9||Virginia Tech||8 PM|
|Sat.||Feb. 13||@ Duke||4 or 9 PM||ESPN or ESPN2|
|Mon.||Feb. 15||NC State||7 PM||ESPN|
|Mon.||Feb. 22||@ Miami||7 PM||ESPN|
|Sat.||Feb. 27||North Carolina||TBA||ESPN or ESPN2|
|Tues.||Mar. 1||@ Clemson||7 PM||ESPNU|
|Sat.||Mar. 5||Louisville||TBA||ESPN or ESPN2|
Virginia's schedule is another challenging one. However, the season gets off to a manageable start, save a road trip to GW; the team plays a couple lower-level teams in Morgan State, Bradley, and Lehigh and participates in the winnable Charleston Classic. However, things get serious when the calendar turns to December. UVA heads to Ohio State for the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, plays West Virginia in New York, and has back-to-back showdowns at home against Villanova and Cal.
The Hoos start ACC play Saturday, January 2nd, when they'll host Notre Dame, followed by a two-game road trip to Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech. The most difficult stretch is the six-game one to end the season. The team plays at Duke, then takes on NC State in ESPN's Big Monday two days later. UVA returns to Big Monday against Miami the next week, then takes on UNC on February 27th in a made-for-ESPN-College-Gameday matchup. After a road trip to Clemson, the Hoos close the season against Louisville at JPJ.
One interesting quirk about the conference schedule is the heavy emphasis on Monday and Tuesday games. UVA plays nine weekend games (8 Saturdays, 1 Sunday), and nine mid-week games. Of those mid-week games, 4 are on Monday, 4 on Tuesday, 1 on Wednesday, and none on Thursday. UVA has four "one-day turnarounds" in conference play.
The team will be all over national television once again this year. 13 of UVA's 18 ACC games will be nationally televised, as will 9 non-conference games that we know about (and it's possible others may be picked up) - that's over two-thirds of the season.
The table below shows last year's KenPom and RPI ranking of each team on UVA's out-of-conference schedule. On average, it's a bit more difficult than last season; however, with one fewer road game, it's safe to call it a push. Note that while last year's numbers are a pretty good proxy for this year's performance, it won't be perfect. For example, Cal finished last year at #113 on KenPom, they'll start the season ranked in the top 25 this year.
|UVA OOC Schedule Strength|
|Date||Opponent||2014-15 Ken Pom Rank||2014-15 RPI Rank|
|Nov. 13||Morgan State||337||337|
|Nov. 16||@ GW||74||84|
|Nov. 19||vs. Bradley||270||288|
|Nov. 20||vs. LBSU/Seton Hall||142/107||109/95|
|Nov. 22||vs. Oklahoma St./Towson/Ole Miss/GMU||42/268/50/219||51/282/60/222|
|Dec. 1||@ Ohio State||21||41|
|Dec. 5||William and Mary||130||93|
|Dec. 8||vs. WVU||26||24|
|Average:||133 (145 last year)||129 (137 last year)|