I moved Virginia into the CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 back in September simply because I had one coach after another — including multiple coaches from the ACC — predict the Cavaliers would compete with North Carolina and Duke atop the ACC standings while I was compiling answers for our annual Candid Coaches series
It looks like a good prediction so far.
That's because the Cavaliers improved to 3-0 Friday night with an 86-79 victory over Baylor in the semifinals of the Continental Tire Main Event in Las Vegas. Tony Bennett's team shot 55.6% from the field, 64.3% from 3-point range and led by as many as 22 points after a 21-2 second-half run created separation.
"That [big run] gave us a distance [between us and Baylor] — and we certainly needed that the way they came back," Bennett said in reference to the fact that Baylor actually outscored Virginia 39-24 over the final 9:17 of the showdown between the programs that won the 2019 (Virginia) and 2021 (Baylor) NCAA Tournaments. "We couldn't stop them at the end, which was the disappointing part."
Otherwise, it was all good.
Armaan Franklin, one of five returning starters for the Cavaliers, finished with 26 points on just 12 shots. He was 3-of-6 from beyond the arc and 9-of-10 from the free throw line. It was a performance that played a role in Virginia moving up to No. 9 in Saturday morning's updated CBS Sports Top 25 And 1 daily college basketball rankings. Next up for Virginia is Sunday's title game of the Continental Tire Main Event against Illinois, which beat UCLA 79-70 late Friday. The Illini are up to No. 10 in the Top 25 and 1.
Top 25 And 1 rankings
|Tyrese Hunter finished with 26 points and three rebounds in Wednesday's 93-74 win over Gonzaga. The Longhorns' next game is Monday against Northern Arizona.||--||29-9|
|R.J. Davis finished with 14 points and 10 rebounds in Tuesday's 72-66 win over Gardner-Webb. The Tar Heels' next game is Sunday against James Madison.||--||20-13|
|Marcus Sasser finished with 20 points and six assists in Wednesday's 83-48 win over Texas Southern. The Cougars' next game is Sunday against Oregon.||--||33-4|
|Jalen Wilson finished with 33 points and six rebounds in Friday's 82-76 win over Southern Utah. The Jayhawks' next game is Wednesday against NC State.||--||28-8|
|Drew Timme finished with five of Gonzaga's 20 turnovers in Wednesday's 93-74 loss at Texas. The Zags' next game is Sunday against Kentucky.||--||31-6|
|Tyson Walker finished with 22 points and five assists in Friday's 73-71 win over Villanova. The Spartans' next game is Thursday against Alabama.||--||21-13|
|CJ Fredrick finished with 17 points and three assists in Thursday's 106-63 win over South Carolina State. The Wildcats' next game is Sunday against Gonzaga.||--||22-12|
|Ricky Council IV finished with 19 points and two assists in Wednesday's 71-56 win over South Dakota State. The Razorbacks' next game is Monday against Louisville.||--||22-14|
|Armaan Franklin finished with 26 points and four rebounds in Friday's 86-79 win over Baylor. The Cavaliers' next game is Sunday against Illinois.||6||25-8|
|Terrence Shannon Jr. finished with 29 points and 10 rebounds in Friday's 79-70 win over UCLA. The Illini's next game is Sunday against Virginia.||13||20-13|
|Kyle Filipowski finished with 18 points and eight rebounds in Friday's 92-58 win over Delaware. The Blue Devils' next game is Monday against Bellarmine.||--||27-9|
|Baylor Scheierman finished with 17 points and six rebounds in Thursday's 80-51 win over UC Riverside. The Bluejays' next game is Monday against Texas Tech.||--||24-13|
|Trayce Jackson-Davis finished with 30 points and six rebounds in Friday's 81-79 win at Xavier. The Hoosiers' next game is Sunday against Miami-Ohio.||--||23-12|
|Keyonte George turned the ball over five times in Friday's 86-79 loss to Virginia. The Bears' next game is Sunday against UCLA.||5||23-11|
|Amari Bailey missed all five shots he took in Friday's 79-70 loss to Illinois. The Bruins' next game is Sunday against Baylor.||5||31-6|
|K.D. Johnson finished with 16 points and two rebounds in Friday's 72-56 win over Texas Southern. The Tigers' next game is Tuesday against Bradley.||2||21-13|
|Kerr Kriisa finished with 24 points and five assists in Thursday's 104-77 win over Utah Tech. The Wildcats' next game is Monday against Cincinnati.||1||28-7|
|Josiah-Jordan James finished with 18 points and six rebounds in Wednesday's 81-50 win over Florida Gulf Coast. The Vols' next game is Wednesday against Butler.||1||25-11|
San Diego St.
|Jaedon LeDee finished with 14 points and four rebounds in Tuesday's 74-62 win over Stanford. The Aztecs' next game is Monday against Ohio State.||1||31-6|
|Brandon Miller finished with 28 points and eight rebounds in Friday's 104-62 win over Jacksonville State. The Crimson Tide's next game is Thursday against Michigan State.||1||31-6|
|Zach Edey finished with 20 points and 13 rebounds in Tuesday's 75-70 win over Marquette. The Boilermakers' next game is Thursday against West Virginia.||1||29-6|
|Brice Sensabaugh finished with 20 points and four rebounds in Wednesday's 65-43 win over Eastern Illinois. The Buckeyes' next game is Monday against San Diego State.||1||16-19|
|Yuri Collins finished with 22 points and nine assists in Tuesday's 90-84 win over Memphis. The Billikens' next game is Saturday against Maryland.||1||21-12|
|Adama Sanogo finished with 24 points and five rebounds in Friday's 86-50 win over UNC Wilmington. The Huskies' next game is Sunday against Delaware State.||--||29-8|
|Kris Murray finished with 29 points and 11 rebounds in Wednesday's 83-67 win at Seton Hall. The Hawkeyes' next game is Monday against Nebraska Omaha.||--||19-14|
|Kevin Obanor finished with 15 points and eight rebounds in Monday's 64-55 win over Louisiana Tech. The Red Raiders' next game is Monday against Creighton.||--||16-16|