What’s stopping Virginia Basketball from winning the ACC in 2018?

Virginia is 2-0 in ACC play for the first time since the 2014-15 season when the Cavs finished 16-2, cruising to the regular season conference title.

So after holding on against the pesky Boston College team that knocked off Duke, then blowing Virginia Tech off the floor in Blacksburg, it’s just about time to look at what might stand in the way of UVA earning the No. 1 seed in the ACC Tournament.

Here are three potential roadblocks as Tony Bennett and the Cavaliers look for a third first-place finish in five seasons:


Bagley, the ACC’s leading scorer and rebounder, is capable of carrying Duke to the title and despite the fact the Blue Devils already have a loss in league play, they probably remain the favorites to win it.

And while Duke has talent all over the floor, Virginia can survive a guard going off for a big game. Bagley simply provides big matchup problems.

Isaiah Wilkins is the ACC’s best defender, but gives up about five inches to Bagley. Jack Salt has the size, but it will be a minor miracle if he stays out of foul trouble at Cameron Indoor Stadium. The Cavs may need Mamadi Diakite to have a big game defensively.



Bennett has to be pleased with what he’s gotten from Wilkins, Salt and Diakite, but as alluded to above, foul trouble will continue to be a concern. All three picked up two fouls in the first half at Virginia Tech and Bennett still didn’t feel comfortable bringing redshirt freshman Jay Huff off the bench until garbage time with a 30-point lead. The Hokies did UVA a favor by playing with four and five-guard lineups and launching 3-pointers, but don’t be surprised if other ACC teams look to pound it inside instead.

Wilkins was playing with four fouls when he made the game-saving block against Boston College. Virginia fans probably don’t want to think about how that game might have ended if he hadn’t been on the court.



Three of Virginia’s first four games to start next month are on the road, including trips to Miami and Florida State, two teams that should be right in the hunt for the top spot as well.

The Cavs also have to go Syracuse, and even though it is a down year for the Orange, Jim Boeheim’s teams have caused problems for UVa in the past and playing in the Carrier Dome is never easy.

That stretch could be the difference between a good and great regular season.


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