Virginia’s reign as national champion got a one-year extension thanks to COVID-19.
But its title defense didn’t last long once NCAA tournament play resumed. No. 13 seed Ohio stunned the fourth-seeded Cavaliers on Saturday, sending Virginia home without a win in this year’s NCAA tournament.
This is the second time in Virginia’s past three tournament appearances it’s been eliminated in the first round while being the higher seed. The program’s 2019 championship run has been sandwiched by two highly disappointing and brief tournament appearances.
It’s safe to say the college basketball world is shocked. Ohio finished fifth in the MAC this season, but somehow just knocked off Virginia, the ACC regular-season champion.
Virginia was unable to practice this week until Friday to meet COVID-19 protocol after being removed from the ACC Tournament last week due to a positive test. That all led to UVA not looking its best in a 62-58 loss to No. 13-seeded mid-major Ohio. The mixture of poor circumstance and a hungry opponent was a nightmare for coach Tony Bennett’s squad.
Another major upset last night was the No. 14 Abilene Christian clipping of No. 3 Texas.