A loss in a true road game at George Washington isn't enough to bump the Cavaliers from the rankings—but it is cause for concern about a few areas of their defense. When Virginia ranked No. 1 nationally in defensive efficiency last season, it excelled at foul-avoidance, ranking 22nd in rate of free-throw attempts allowed per field-goal attempt (0.286). In Monday's loss to GW, the Cavaliers allowed 28 free-throw attempts, and starters Anthony Gill and Darius Thompson had their minutes limited by foul trouble.
They also let the Colonials shoot 52.8% on the interior, struggling to protect the rim (Virginia had just two blocks) or stop straight-line drives. The assumption that the Cavaliers could remain impossible to score on even after losing defender extraordinaire Darion Atkins—you may know him as the star of 2014 Power Rankings video Keepin' Blocks With Darion Atkins!—may have been a bit misguided.