basketball | ncaab

Virginia Cavaliers vs. Maine Black Bears Pick & Prediction NOV 25TH 2020

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Every student-athlete anticipates the start of a new season, but perhaps no player in the country is looking forward to tipping off the 2020-21 campaign more than No. 4 Virginia's Sam Hauser.

The 6-foot-8 senior forward sat out last season after transferring from Marquette, where he made the All-Big East second team in 2018-19 with 14.9 points and 7.2 rebounds per game. He started 97 games over three seasons and knocked down 246 3-pointers at a 44.5 percent clip for the Golden Eagles.

Hauser will make his long-awaited and eagerly anticipated Cavaliers debut Wednesday afternoon against Maine at the Mohegan Sun Arena in Uncasville, Conn.

"Having a redshirt year, you get a whole year to really work on your game and figure out what you need to fine-tune and what you really need to get better at, and I took that very seriously," Hauser said. "I hope I can show everyone that I've gotten better and I've improved, and hopefully I'm more than (the) shooter that I'm labeled as. I've taken that personally, and I'm just really excited to showcase it."

Virginia lost two frontcourt starters in 6-foot-9 Mamadi Diakite and 6-8 Braxton Key. Both were important pieces on the 2019 national championship team, and their defense and rebounding helped the Cavaliers finish 23-7 last season despite scoring just 57.0 points per game (351st in Division I).

"Hopefully we can fill the shoes of those guys, because they're big shoes to fill," said Hauser, one of 50 players named to the Naismith Trophy watch list. "But I think with the guys we have we're going to have a good year again."

Those guys include three starters: 5-foot-9 point junior point guard Kihei Clark, 7-1 senior forward Jay Huff and 6-5 senior guard Tomas Woldetensae.

"I think the identity of this team is going to be just like any other (coach Tony Bennett) team -- our defense -- but I definitely think we have offensive capabilities with a lot of shooters on the floor," Clark said.

Virginia's patented "pack line" defense was too much for Maine last season, as the Black Bears shot just 18.6 percent (8 of 43) and committed 21 turnovers in a 46-26 loss in Charlottesville, Va., on Nov. 27, 2019. It matched the fewest points scored against UVA in the shot-clock era (since 1985-86).

Maine finished 9-22 last season, a slight improvement from the 5-27 mark in coach Richard Barron's first season in Orono in 2018-19.

The Bears' top returning scorer, senior forward Nedeljko Prijovic (10.7 points per game), announced late last month he was opting out and returning to his native Serbia to pursue a pro career. No current member of the squad scored more than 6.3 points per game last season.

Playing an acoustic guitar and singing to the tune of Train's "Meet Virginia," Barron discussed the challenges of facing UVA and running a team during a pandemic in a music video posted this week on Twitter.

"The team colors are orange and blue. They put their socks on just like you. Tested for COVID like we did, too," he sings. "Meet Virginia. I can't wait to meet Virginia. The defense is suffocating, need really good officiating to beat the odds we are calculating. Ain't that beautiful."

--Field Level Media

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Mid-American

EastWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Ohio Bobcats201.000 0-02-084.066.5W22-0-0
Miami (OH) Red Hawks101.000 1-00-081.067.0W11-0-0
Bowling Green Falcons01.000 0-00-182.096.0L10-0-1

America East

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
New Hampshire Wildcats101.000 1-00-093.054.0W11-0-0
Massachusetts Lowell River Hawks101.000 0-01-076.068.0W11-0-0
MD Baltimore County Retrievers01.000 0-00-162.070.0L10-0-1

American Athletic Conference

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Southern Methodist Mustangs101.000 1-00-097.067.0W11-0-0
South Florida Bulls101.000 1-00-094.084.0W11-0-0
Houston Cougars101.000 1-00-089.045.0W11-0-0
Memphis Tigers11.500 0-11-071.065.5L11-0-1

Atlantic 10

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Saint Louis Billikens101.000 1-00-089.052.0W11-0-0
Davidson Wildcats101.000 1-00-082.073.0W11-0-0
VCU Rams11.500 0-01-175.573.5L11-0-1
George Washington Colonials01.000 0-00-171.078.0L10-0-1
St. Joseph's (PA) Hawks01.000 0-10-091.096.0L10-0-1
Rhode Island Rams01.000 0-10-088.094.0L10-0-1
La Salle Explorers01.000 0-00-165.082.0L10-0-1

Atlantic Coast

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
NC State Wolfpack101.000 1-00-095.061.0W11-0-0
Virginia Cavaliers101.000 1-00-089.054.0W11-0-0
Louisville Cardinals101.000 1-00-079.044.0W11-0-0
Clemson Tigers101.000 0-01-053.042.0W11-0-0
Virginia Tech Hokies101.000 1-00-077.062.0W11-0-0
North Carolina Tar Heels101.000 1-00-079.060.0W11-0-0
Wake Forest Demon Deacons101.000 1-00-0111.051.0W11-0-0
Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets01.000 0-10-0120.0123.0L10-0-1
Boston College Eagles01.000 0-10-067.076.0L10-0-1
Pittsburgh Panthers01.000 0-10-070.080.0L10-0-1

Atlantic Sun

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Kennesaw St. Fighting Owls101.000 1-00-087.040.0W11-0-0
Florida Gulf Coast Eagles101.000 1-00-065.056.0W11-0-0
North Alabama Lions101.000 1-00-098.074.0W11-0-0
Jacksonville Dolphins101.000 1-00-099.057.0W11-0-0
Liberty Flames11.500 0-01-174.075.0L11-0-1
North Florida Osprey01.000 0-10-067.080.0L10-0-1

Big 12

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
West Virginia Mountaineers201.000 2-00-078.568.5W22-0-0
Texas Christian Horned Frogs101.000 1-00-069.045.0W11-0-0
Texas Tech Red Raiders101.000 1-00-0101.058.0W11-0-0
Oklahoma State Cowboys101.000 0-01-075.068.0W11-0-0
Texas Longhorns101.000 1-00-091.055.0W11-0-0
Kansas Jayhawks01.000 0-00-190.0102.0L10-0-1
Kansas State Wildcats01.000 0-10-070.080.0L10-0-1

Big East

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
St. John's Red Storm201.000 2-00-079.070.0W22-0-0
Xavier Musketeers201.000 2-00-076.049.5W22-0-0
Villanova Wildcats101.000 0-01-076.067.0W11-0-0
Connecticut Huskies101.000 1-00-0102.075.0W11-0-0
Butler Bulldogs101.000 1-00-066.062.0W11-0-0
Marquette Golden Eagles101.000 1-00-099.057.0W11-0-0
Providence Friars101.000 1-00-097.056.0W11-0-0
Georgetown Hoyas101.000 1-00-070.062.0W11-0-0

Big Sky

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Weber St. Wildcats101.000 1-00-088.060.0W11-0-0
Montana St. Bobcats101.000 0-01-091.078.0W11-0-0
Sacramento State Hornets101.000 1-00-0101.057.0W11-0-0
Southern Utah Thunderbirds01.000 0-00-183.085.0L10-0-1
Idaho State Bengals01.000 0-00-149.062.0L10-0-1

Big South

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
South Carolina Upstate Spartans01.000 0-10-072.082.0L10-0-1
Charleston Southern Buccaneers01.000 0-00-161.095.0L10-0-1
Radford Highlanders01.000 0-00-162.077.0L10-0-1
High Point Panthers01.000 0-00-173.082.0L10-0-1

Big Ten

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Illinois Fighting Illini201.000 2-00-0109.549.0W22-0-0
Iowa Hawkeyes101.000 1-00-097.067.0W11-0-0
Rutgers Scarlet Knights101.000 1-00-086.063.0W11-0-0
Purdue Boilermakers101.000 1-00-077.064.0W11-0-0
Wisconsin Badgers101.000 1-00-077.067.0W11-0-0
Indiana Hoosiers101.000 1-00-089.059.0W11-0-0
Maryland Terrapins101.000 1-00-085.067.0W11-0-0
Michigan St Spartans101.000 1-00-083.067.0W11-0-0
Minnesota Golden Gophers101.000 1-00-099.069.0W11-0-0
Michigan Wolverines101.000 1-00-096.082.0W11-0-0
Ohio St Buckeyes101.000 1-00-094.067.0W11-0-0
Nebraska Cornhuskers11.500 1-10-084.062.0L11-0-1

Big West

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
CSU Northridge Matadors101.000 1-00-097.079.0W11-0-0
UC Riverside Highlanders01.000 0-00-160.066.0L10-0-1
UC Davis Aggies01.000 0-00-193.0101.0L10-0-1
UC Irvine Anteaters01.000 0-00-172.086.0L10-0-1

Colonial Athletic Association

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
James Madison Dukes101.000 1-00-089.055.0W11-0-0
Elon University Phoenix101.000 1-00-082.052.0W11-0-0
Charleston Cougars01.000 0-00-160.079.0L10-0-1
NC-Wilmington Seahawks01.000 0-00-176.098.0L10-0-1
Towson Tigers02.000 0-00-261.084.0L20-0-2

Conference USA

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Western Kentucky Hilltoppers201.000 0-02-084.078.0W22-0-0
Texas-El Paso Miners101.000 1-00-0100.081.0W11-0-0
Florida International Golden Panthers101.000 1-00-085.081.0W11-0-0
UAB Blazers101.000 1-00-099.050.0W11-0-0
Middle Tennessee St. Blue Raiders01.000 0-10-059.060.0L10-0-1
Florida Atlantic Owls01.000 0-00-166.068.0L10-0-1
Old Dominion Monarchs01.000 0-00-167.085.0L10-0-1

Horizon League

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Purdue Fort Wayne Mastodons101.000 1-00-067.063.0W11-0-0
Northern Kentucky Norse101.000 1-00-074.073.0W11-0-0
Illinois-Chicago Flames101.000 0-01-065.061.0W11-0-0
Green Bay Phoenix01.000 0-00-169.099.0L10-0-1
Oakland Golden Grizzlies02.000 0-10-151.090.5L20-0-2

Metro Atlantic Athletic

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Quinnipiac Bobcats101.000 1-00-084.066.0W11-0-0
St. Peter's Peacocks01.000 0-00-175.076.0L10-0-1
Fairfield Stags01.000 0-00-156.097.0L10-0-1

Mid-Eastern Athletic

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
North Carolina Central Eagles11.500 0-01-176.087.5L11-0-1
Delaware State Hornets01.000 0-00-151.0111.0L10-0-1
Morgan St. Bears01.000 0-10-055.062.0L10-0-1
Howard Bison01.000 0-10-078.095.0L10-0-1
Florida A&M Rattlers01.000 0-00-156.065.0L10-0-1
South Carolina State Bulldogs01.000 0-10-061.081.0L10-0-1
North Carolina A&T Aggies02.000 0-10-166.0103.0L20-0-2

Missouri Valley

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Drake Bulldogs101.000 0-01-080.070.0W11-0-0
Bradley Braves11.500 1-00-155.555.0L11-0-1
Evansville Purple Aces01.000 0-00-144.079.0L10-0-1
Illinois St. Redbirds01.000 0-00-167.094.0L10-0-1
Northern Iowa Panthers02.000 0-10-175.579.5L20-0-2

Mountain West

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Nevada Wolf Pack201.000 1-01-065.557.0W22-0-0
Fresno St. Bulldogs101.000 1-00-087.047.0W11-0-0
San Diego St. Aztecs101.000 1-00-073.058.0W11-0-0
UNLV Runnin' Rebels01.000 0-10-078.091.0L10-0-1
Utah St. Aggies01.000 0-10-069.085.0L10-0-1

Northeast

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
St. Francis (PA) Red Flash101.000 0-01-080.070.0W11-0-0
Mount St. Mary's Mountaineers101.000 0-01-062.055.0W11-0-0
Sacred Heart Pioneers01.000 0-00-163.086.0L10-0-1
Central Conn. St. Blue Devils01.000 0-00-175.0102.0L10-0-1
Fairleigh Dickinson Knights01.000 0-00-166.084.0L10-0-1

Ohio Valley

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Austin Peay Governors201.000 1-01-069.566.0W22-0-0
Belmont Bruins101.000 0-01-095.078.0W11-0-0
Eastern Kentucky Colonels101.000 0-01-080.067.0W11-0-0
Jacksonville St. Gamecocks01.000 0-00-157.081.0L10-0-1
Morehead St. Eagles01.000 0-00-145.081.0L10-0-1
SIU - Edwardsville Cougars01.000 0-00-152.089.0L10-0-1
Tennessee Tech Golden Eagles01.000 0-00-159.089.0L10-0-1
Eastern Illinois Panthers01.000 0-00-167.077.0L10-0-1

Pacific-12

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Colorado Buffaloes101.000 1-00-084.061.0W11-0-0
Southern California Trojans101.000 1-00-095.087.0W11-0-0
Oregon St. Beavers101.000 1-00-071.063.0W11-0-0
Washington St. Cougars101.000 1-00-056.052.0W11-0-0
Arizona State Sun Devils101.000 0-01-094.088.0W11-0-0
California Golden Bears11.500 1-00-174.566.0L11-0-1
UCLA Bruins01.000 0-00-158.073.0L10-0-1

Patriot League

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Navy Midshipmen101.000 1-00-078.071.0W11-0-0
Army Black Knights101.000 1-00-093.032.0W11-0-0

Southeastern

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Auburn Tigers101.000 0-01-096.091.0W11-0-0
Missouri Tigers101.000 1-00-091.064.0W11-0-0
Kentucky Wildcats101.000 1-00-081.045.0W11-0-0
Arkansas Razorbacks101.000 1-00-0142.062.0W11-0-0
Alabama Crimson Tide101.000 1-00-081.057.0W11-0-0
Mississippi State Bulldogs02.000 0-20-057.568.5L20-0-2

Southern

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
The Citadel Bulldogs101.000 1-00-089.064.0W11-0-0
Chattanooga Mocs101.000 1-00-099.063.0W11-0-0
Furman Paladins101.000 1-00-095.062.0W11-0-0
Western Carolina Catamounts101.000 1-00-098.076.0W11-0-0
Wofford Terriers101.000 1-00-088.049.0W11-0-0
Mercer Bears101.000 1-00-079.048.0W11-0-0
VMI Keydets101.000 1-00-090.063.0W11-0-0
East Tennessee St. Buccaneers02.000 0-00-256.568.5L20-0-2

Southland

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Abilene Christian Wildcats101.000 1-00-070.047.0W11-0-0
Texas A&M CC Islanders101.000 1-00-064.053.0W11-0-0
Nicholls State Colonels101.000 1-00-0101.093.0W11-0-0
Southeastern Louisiana Lions01.000 0-00-163.067.0L10-0-1
Sam Houston St. Bearkats01.000 0-00-167.097.0L10-0-1
Houston Baptist Huskies01.000 0-00-145.069.0L10-0-1
Lamar Cardinals01.000 0-00-145.089.0L10-0-1
Northwestern St. Demons01.000 0-00-158.0101.0L10-0-1
McNeese St. Cowboys01.000 0-00-155.0102.0L10-0-1

Southwestern Athletic

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Grambling State Tigers01.000 0-00-153.069.0L10-0-1
Mississippi Valley State Delta Devils01.000 0-00-162.0142.0L10-0-1
Texas Southern Tigers01.000 0-00-152.056.0L10-0-1
Prairie View A&M Panthers01.000 0-00-166.071.0L10-0-1
Southern Jaguars01.000 0-10-078.085.0L10-0-1
Alcorn St. Braves01.000 0-00-150.099.0L10-0-1
Arkansas-Pine Bluff Golden Lions01.000 0-00-157.099.0L10-0-1

Summit

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Kansas City Kangaroos101.000 1-00-0105.035.0W11-0-0
Nebraska Omaha Mavericks11.500 0-11-063.065.5L11-0-1
North Dakota State Bison01.000 0-00-148.062.0L10-0-1
South Dakota Coyotes01.000 0-00-161.084.0L10-0-1
Oral Roberts Golden Eagles01.000 0-00-164.091.0L10-0-1
North Dakota Fighting Hawks01.000 0-00-167.081.0L10-0-1
South Dakota State Jackrabbits01.000 0-00-171.079.0L10-0-1

Sun Belt

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Georgia Southern Eagles101.000 1-00-097.065.0W11-0-0
Little Rock Trojans101.000 1-00-071.066.0W11-0-0
South Alabama Jaguars101.000 1-00-068.066.0W11-0-0
Georgia St. Panthers101.000 0-01-0123.0120.0W11-0-0
Appalachian St. Mountaineers101.000 0-01-081.061.0W11-0-0
Texas State Bobcats101.000 1-00-098.059.0W11-0-0
Texas-Arlington Mavericks01.000 0-10-068.075.0L10-0-1

West Coast

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Loyola Marymount Lions101.000 1-00-085.083.0W11-0-0
Pepperdine Waves101.000 1-00-086.072.0W11-0-0
Gonzaga Bulldogs101.000 1-00-0102.090.0W11-0-0
Santa Clara Broncos101.000 1-00-062.049.0W11-0-0
Pacific Tigers101.000 1-00-066.060.0W11-0-0
Brigham Young Cougars101.000 1-00-0108.059.0W11-0-0
San Francisco Dons11.500 1-10-073.572.0L11-0-1
St. Mary's Gaels11.500 1-10-061.068.5L11-0-1
Portland Pilots01.000 0-10-072.084.0L10-0-1

Western Athletic

TeamsWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Tarleton State 101.000 1-00-0103.048.0W11-0-0
Grand Canyon Antelopes101.000 1-00-069.053.0W11-0-0
Seattle Redhawks101.000 0-01-084.072.0W11-0-0
Texas Rio Grande Valley Vaqueros01.000 0-00-155.091.0L10-0-1
California Baptist Lancers01.000 0-00-187.095.0L10-0-1
Chicago St. Cougars02.000 0-10-149.590.5L20-0-2

Mid-American

WestWL PRCHOMEAWAYPFPAST L10
Toledo Rockets11.500 0-01-169.557.0L11-0-1
Western Michigan Broncos01.000 0-00-162.066.0L10-0-1
Eastern Michigan Eagles01.000 0-00-167.083.0L10-0-1
Northern Illinois Huskies01.000 0-10-061.065.0L10-0-1
Ball St. Cardinals01.000 0-00-173.074.0L10-0-1

Last Injuries

Virginia Cavaliers

  • Jay Huff

    Ankle
    Prob Wed | probable

    Huff is expected to suit up against St. Peter's on Wednesday despite an ankle injury.