UVA seeded fifth in East Region
The Cavaliers (22-10) are one of nine ACC teams to receive bids. Syracuse (19-13) was a surprise omission, after making a Final Four run in 2016 as one of the last at-large teams in the field.
The game will be played at 12:40 p.m. Thursday in Orlando.
The winner plays the winner of #4 Florida (24-8) vs. #13 East Tennessee State (27-7) on Saturday.
Looming down the road from there for Virginia are potential Sweet 16 matchups with #1 seed Villanova (31-3), which beat the Cavs, 61-59, on Jan. 29, and #9 seed Virginia Tech (22-10), which split a home-and-home with UVA in the 2016-2017 season.
#8 seed Wisconsin (25-9) plays Virginia Tech in the first round on Thursday in Buffalo.
Duke (26-8) is the #2 seed in the East Region and could be a potential Elite Eight matchup down the road.
Virginia will make its 21st NCAA Tournament appearance and fourth straight for the first time since 1981-84.
The Cavaliers advanced to the NCAA Midwest Regional final last year after earning their fifth No. 1 seed in school history. The Cavaliers advanced to the NCAA Sweet 16 in 2014 and NCAA third round in 2015.
This is Virginia’s fifth NCAA Tournament appearance under two-time ACC Coach of the Year Tony Bennett. The Cavaliers have compiled an all-time record of 28-20 in 20 NCAA tournaments. UVA advanced to the NCAA Final Four in 1981 and 1984.
Breaking down UNC-Wilmington
Wilmington (29-5) is the automatic qualifier from the CAA, winning the conference regular-season title, then taking the CAA Tournament championship last week with a win over College of Charleston.
The Seahawks are coached by Kevin Keatts, the former head coach of the postgraduate basketball team at Hargrave Military Academy.
Virginia and UNC-W had two common opponents in 2016-2017 – Clemson, which lost to the ‘Hoos 77-73 on Jan. 14, and beat Wilmington 87-73 on Dec. 28, and East Carolina, which lost to UVA 76-53 on Dec. 6, and lost to UNC-W 81-71 on Dec. 20.
The ‘Hawks had a 6-4 record against the RPI Top 100 and a 10-4 record against the RPI Top 150, a final RPI rank of 27 and a 60 rank in the KenPom.com metric.
Virginia was 6-8 against the RPI Top 50, 14-10 against the RPI Top 100 and 17-10 against the RPI Top 150, with a final RPI rank of 22 and a 7 rank in the KenPom.com metric.
Led by C.J. Bryce (17.6 points per game) and Chris Flemming (15.8 points per game), Wilmington averages 85 points per game as a team, and is 18th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency (1.178 points per possession), and averages 69.9 possessions per game.
Defensively, UNC-W allows opponents 1.054 points per possession, 189th nationally (among the 351 D-1 teams).
The Seahawks will go small most of the way – no one taller than 6’7” averages double-digit minutes.
The NCAA provides a limited number of tickets to schools participating in the NCAA tournament first and second rounds. As a result, ticket requests are limited to Virginia Athletics Foundation donors and Virginia men’s basketball season ticket holders in UVA’s block at Amway Center.
Ticket requests for NCAA Tournament first and second-round games will begin online at VirginiaSports.com at 9 p.m. on Sunday, March 12. Donors eligible to request tickets should use their registered online account. Tickets may also be requested by calling the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office at 1-800-542-8821 on Monday, March 13 from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m. The deadline to request tickets is Monday, March 13 at 2 p.m.
Requests for the limited number of lower level seats and available upper level seats will be filled according to Virginia Athletics Foundation priority points order. Account holders who receive tickets will be notified by email Monday night with information about the location and hours to pick up tickets in Orlando, Fla.
UVA students may request tickets for NCAA Tournament first and second-round games in Virginia’s ticket block online at UVAShots.com. The online request period will run from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Monday, March 13. Student tickets will be filled from requests based on Sabre point totals. Students awarded a ticket will be notified by email. Payment will be for one ticket for both the first and second-round games.
Students will only receive a ticket to the second round if Virginia wins its game in the preceding round. If Virginia does not advance to the second round, refunds for those tickets will be issued to a student’s credit card in a timely manner. Student orders will be limited to one ticket per student.
Tickets outside of Virginia’s seating block at Amway Center may be available to purchase through the arena box office. Visit theAmway Center box office to review ticket availability and to purchase tickets.