Let’s chat about the No. 1 overall seed.
Virginia guard De’Andre Hunter is out for the NCAA tournament. Hunter, a redshirt freshman, was the ACC’s Sixth Man of the Year and a key cog for the No. 1 overall seed. The redshirt freshman scored 9.2 points and 3.5 rebounds in 20 minutes per game.
Hunter is a bench player, but he was crucial for Tony Bennett’s Cavaliers. He played the fifth-most minutes on the team and was among its most versatile defenders. The Hoos have mostly stuck to a slim eight-man rotation, making his loss all the harder to swallow.
So, the best team in college basketball lost one of its best players on the eve of the NCAA tournament. This is not good at all. But is it fatal to that team’s chances? Let’s talk about it.
Alex Kirshner: You think Virginia’s probably screwed, don’t you?
Matt Ellentuck: This isn’t great. Virginia is obviously not the type of star-studded team other top seeds are, where losing one player is crippling, but Hunter is a do-it-all type of guy for the Cavaliers. He’s only 6’7 or so, but with a 7-foot-2 wingspan he’s been able switch on to all five positions, and that’s where he’ll be missed most.
Screwed is an overstatement, but UVA fans can’t feel comfortable with this news.
What are you thinking?
Alex: I was down about their chances already, but most of that was just me being a hater. (We both went to Maryland, for those reading this.) Virginia plays at a sloth’s pace and has in the past cratered offensively at the worst possible moments in the tournament.
The thing that seemed most problematic to me is that Virginia only uses an eight-man rotation as is. Winning two games in three days on back-to-back-to-back weekends with …read more