CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – No. 4 seed Virginia (18-6) plays No. 13 seed Ohio (16-7) in the first round of the NCAA Tournament on Saturday, March 20. Tipoff at Assembly Hall in Bloomington, Ind., is set for approximately 7:15 p.m. ET on truTV.
• UVA earned an at-large bid into the NCAA Tournament, while Ohio earned the Mid-American Conference’s automatic bid.
• Virginia earned its school-record seventh straight NCAA Tournament appearance and third No. 4 seed in school history.
• UVA has won 18 or more games for the 10th straight season under four-time ACC Coach of the Year Tony Bennett.
• Virginia is 9-5 away from John Paul Jones Arena, including a 2-2 record on neutral courts.
• Virginia’s Tony Bennett will coach his 500th career game, posting a career mark of 364-135 in 15 seasons.
• Ohio forward Ben Vander Plas’ father, Dean Vander Plas, and Tony Bennett were college teammates at Green Bay under Tony’s father, Dick Bennett, from 1989-91.
• Ben Vander Plas was named after Dick Bennett.
• Ben Vander Plas and Sam Hauser were AAU teammates as grade schoolers for the Fox Valley Skillz in Wisconsin.
• The Virginia-Ohio contest will be televised on truTV and streamed online via NCAA March Madness Live.
• The game will be broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network and Westwood One/NCAA Radio Network on Sirius (134), XM (201) Internet (964), and WestwoodOneSports.com/madness.
The Head Coach
• Dean and Markel Families Head Men’s Basketball Coach Tony Bennett has a 295-102 (.743) mark in 12 seasons at Virginia and 364-135 (.729) career mark in 15 seasons.
• With the Feb. 13 win over North Carolina, Bennett became just the third coach in ACC men’s basketball history to lead his program to 10-straight winning conference seasons, joining Dean Smith and Mike Krzyzewski.
Bennett guided the Cavaliers to their 10th ACC regular-season championship in 2020-21, including the fifth in the last eight seasons.
• In 2018-19, Bennett led the Cavaliers to their first NCAA national championship, a share of their ninth ACC regular-season title and school-record 35 wins.
• UVA is 149-62 (.706) in ACC play (84-21 at home & 65-41 away), 168-30 (.848) at home and 146-40 (.785) in non-conference action (82-7 at JPJ) under Bennett.
• Bennett ranks third all-time in winning percentage (.706) among ACC head coaches with 100 or more ACC regular-season wins.
UVA All-Time in the NCAA Tournament
• The Cavaliers are 35-22 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
• UVA will make its school-record seventh consecutive and 24th overall NCAA Tournament appearance in 2021 (2020 NCAA Tournament was canceled due to the pandemic).
• UVA is 4-2 as a No. 4 seed in the NCAA Tournament (3-1 in 1995 and 1-1 in 2007).
• UVA won the NCAA championship in 2019 and also made Final Four appearances in 1981 and 1984, respectively.
• Virginia head coach Tony Bennett is 16-8 in nine NCAA tournaments, including a 13-6 record at UVA.
All-Time vs. Ohio
• Virginia is 1-2 all-time vs. Ohio in the series that dates back to 1994.
• The Cavaliers are 1-1 against the Bobcats in Charlottesville, recording a 94-83 loss in 1994 and 90-71 win in 2000.
• Ohio defeated the Cavaliers 78-72 in Athens in the last meeting between the teams in 2003.
Last Time vs. the Bobcats
• Steve Esterkamp scored a game-high 31 points to lead Ohio to a 78-72 win over Virginia in Athens on Feb. 26, 2003.
• Todd Billet and Nick Vander Laan each scored 15 points for Virginia, which shot 48.3 percent in the loss.
• Ohio drilled 9 of 15 3-point shots and went 23 of 30 from the free throw line.
• Elton Brown and Devin Smith each added 10 points for UVA.
UVA in the NCAA Rankings
• As of March 17, Virginia ranks third nationally in personal fouls per game (12.9), turnovers per game (9.4) and free throw percentage (81.7%), sixth in scoring defense (60.5), 12th in assist/turnover ratio (1.48), 17th in 3-point field goal percentage (38.1%) and 24th in field goal percentage (48%).
Last Time Out
• Reece Beekman’s 3-pointer at the buzzer gave No. 1 seed Virginia a 72-69 win over No. 8 seed Syracuse in the ACC quarterfinals on Thursday, March 11.
• Sam Hauser led the Cavaliers (18-6) with 21 points, while Jay Huff had his 10th career double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds.
• Trey Murphy III chipped in 15 points and Kihei Clark added 10 points and a game-high six assists.
• UVA shot 45.5 percent and attempted a season-high 35 3-pointers.
• UVA outrebounded the Orange 33-30.
• Buddy Boeheim had a game-high 31 points for Syracuse.
UVA Ranked No. 15 in AP Poll
• Virginia is ranked No. 15 in the latest Associated Press poll.
• UVA has been ranked in the top 25 of the AP poll for 19 straight weeks over the past two seasons.
• UVA was ranked No. 4 in both preseason polls, marking its third AP preseason top-5 ranking in school history (No. 1 in 1982-83 and No. 5 in 2018-19).
• UVA has been ranked in the top 25 in the preseason rankings in nine of the past 10 seasons.
Cavaliers Against the Field of 68
• Virginia competed against seven teams which qualified for the NCAA Tournament, posting a 6-3 record.
UVA went 2-0 vs. Georgia Tech, 2-0 vs. Syracuse, 1-0 vs. Clemson, 1-0 vs. North Carolina, 0-1 vs. Florida State and 0-1 vs. Gonzaga and 0-1 vs. Virginia Tech.
On the Horizon
• The winner of the Virginia/Ohio NCAA first round game plays No. 5 seed Creighton or No. 12 seed UC Santa Barbara on Monday, March 22. Tipoff and television designation is to be determined.