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NCAA tournament preview: No. 1 Virginia

16 March 2018

"De'Andre's a great player for us and he's been great for us this season but we have to have the next man up mentality and that's what we're going to do". Hunter was also named to the All-ACC Freshman Team.

Four years ago, he elected to move to the United States from Guinea, Africa, where he first developed an interest in basketball. Willoughby has started every game since she arrived in Charlottesville. They chose Virginia because they could see it was a program on the verge of a return to relevance.

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During that transition, he said, the gym provided a comfortable space in an unfamiliar land and helped ease the transition of being thousands of miles from his family members, including three younger brothers who still live in Guinea. He's the one player on that team that can, offensively, can score in any situation, because he's got size, can work in the mid-range, not much of a three-point shooter, he's the best pro prospect on the team. Virginia is first in opponent points per game, allowing an average of just 52.8, and it is not even close-Cincinnati, in second place, allows 57.3.

"We've got a lot of different attacks", senior forward Isaiah Wilkins said. After separating from the pack as the best team in college basketball during the regular season, the Cavaliers will now try to do the same in the NCAA Tournament. "We knew we had to take it one game at a time and not look ahead, but your effort in practice never changes". If Virginia got past Cal, then the Cavaliers would likely play defending national champion SC, which is led by the best player in Virginia history, Dawn Staley, and is the only team to beat Mississippi State this season. Virginia completed a 20-1 run against Atlantic Coast Conference teams by winning the league tournament, helping the Cavs secure the No. 1 overall seed in the NCAA Tournament field unveiled Sunday night.

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"I mean, he's a very skilled big man", Virginia starting center Jack Salt said.

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NCAA tournament preview: No. 1 Virginia