Tony Bennett

DAILY PROGRESS FILE

Virginia head coach Tony Bennett looks on during Saturday’s game against Syracuse at the John Paul Jones Arena. The Cavaliers fell to the Orange, 63-55, in overtime.

The Virginia men’s basketball team fell out of the The Associated Press Top 25 poll this week, marking the first time since the Nov. 20, 2017, poll that the Cavaliers are unranked.

Virginia (11-4, 3-2 ACC) was riding a 46-week streak of making the top 25 in the AP poll.

UVa received votes, and ranks 30th when listing the teams in the receiving votes section of the poll. The team’s next opponent, Florida State (14-2), slides in at No. 9. The Seminoles are one of three ACC teams ranked in this week’s poll. The others are Duke (No. 3) and Louisville (No. 11).

Losses to unranked Boston College and Syracuse last week make the AP poll news expected for the Cavaliers, who were ranked 18th last week. UVa is 11-4 on the season, with three of their losses coming to teams outside the KenPom top 50. Both South Carolina and Boston College fall outside the top 100.

“We have to get better and we have to stick together,” Virginia coach Tony Bennett said. “It’s easy to divide the house but you have to be able to win together and lose together.”

It’s been a tough start to the season for Bennett’s club, which is 0-4 when allowing teams to score at least 60 points. It’s been subpar offense that has let the Cavaliers down this season.

The Cavaliers, the reigning national champions, rank 229th in offensive efficiency, and they entered Monday as the sixth-worst 3-point shooting team in the country. Poor offense hurt the Cavaliers in their past two games, and those losses led to the end of Virginia’s streak in the AP poll.

“We are going to have to learn and move on and get better,” Virginia senior forward Mamadi Diakite said. “We have another large-caliber game coming up, we are going there to Florida [State]. If we play the same way we did [against Syracuse], it will not be good for us.”

Load comments