Tony Bennett’s had a rough January. Starting the new year 2-4, the UVA basketball squad has as many losses as the past two seasons combined, and there are still six weeks left. Coming off a Hollywood-style comeback story culminating in the 2019 National Championship, some fans feel like this season has been a letdown.

But what does the typical post-championship year look like? I researched every National Championship team in the past 20 years to see what happens. The surprising highlights?

  • Twenty-five percent (5 of 20) defending national champions ended the season unranked.
  • Of those teams that ended in the AP, the average rank was #11.
  • The average post-championship season record is 26-9.

See the year-by-year results below. As much as fans want an encore season, it appears that the Hoos are on track to be typical after all. But that shouldn’t be discouraging – it’s also rare for a team to stop at one national title.

YearSchoolAP RankSeason Record
2018-19Villanova2326-10
2017-18UNC1026-11
2016-17Villanova132-4
2015-16Duke1925-11
2014-15UConnUnranked20-15
2013-14Louisville531-6
2012-13KentuckyUnranked21-12
2011-12UConnUnranked20-14
2010-11Duke332-5
2009-10UNCUnranked20-17
2008-09Kansas1427-8
2007-08FloridaUnranked24-12
2006-07Florida335-5
2005-06UNC1133-6
2004-05UConn1323-8
2003-04Syracuse2023-8
2002-03Maryland1721-10
2001-02Duke131-4
2000-01Michigan State328-5
1999-00UConn2025-10

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