Virginia, the reigning national champion, opened its season Wednesday night with a 48-34 victory at Syracuse. The Orange shot just 23.6% from the field and 17.2% from 3-point range in the game. So, yeah, Virginia is awesome again defensively -- just like it's been each of the past six seasons.
In fact, here are Virginia's past six final defensive-efficiency rankings:
- 2019: No. 5
- 2018: No. 1
- 2017: No. 2
- 2016: No. 7
- 2015: No. 2
- 2014: No. 4
Unsurprisingly, Virginia, which is ranked 11th in the Associated Press Top 25 poll, currently ranks No. 1 in defensive-efficiency after its win at Syracuse. Matt Norlander was at the Carrier Dome for that game. So when he and I got together Friday to record a new episode of the CBS Sports Eye On College Basketball Podcast, we opened on it.
After that, the conversation went like this:
- 12:30: After Syracuse lost to Virginia, Hall of Fame coach Jim Boeheim said the fact that he had to open with a conference game was " ." Does he have a point? Or was this just Boeheim being Boeheim?
- 26:00: North Carolina freshman Cole Anthony scored 34 points in his debut -- a 76-65 victory over Notre Dame for the No. 9 Tar Heels -- and in the process . Specifically, his 34 points were more than any UNC freshman had ever previously scored in a debut. It was a performance that suggested the 6-foot-3 point guard should be one of the sport's main attractions and maintain his status as a possible candidate to be the No. 1 overall pick in the 2020 NBA Draft.
- 35:00: We're going to close every Friday podcast this season by picking five games against the spread while discussing them briefly. This week, we focused on No. 24 Auburn vs. Davidson, Colorado State at No. 4 Duke, No. 16 Baylor vs. Washington, Texas at No. 23 Purdue and Boise State at No. 15 Oregon.
The latest "Eye on College Basketball" podcast is below. Give it a listen. If you're not already subscribed, please subscribe via Apple Podcasts. And if you've already done that, thank you. #ShoutsToDevanDowney.