The Virginia Cavaliers needed overtime to win the 2019 national championship - a fitting final hurdle after years of early March exits - but Tony Bennett's program had already proven to be one of the most consistent teams in college basketball.
Virginia has earned either a 1- or 2-seed in five of the last six NCAA Tournaments. All five of those top-two teams ranked top six in Ken Pomeroy's trusted statistical ratings, with the only outlier, the 2016-17 squad, placing a mere 12th.
One of the keys to Virginia's sustained success has been cohesion. And with the team's three most important players - De'Andre Hunter, Kyle Guy, and Ty Jerome - heading off to play professionally, it's a factor that will test Bennett and Virginia as they look to sustain success in 2019-20.
Victories led by continuity
One of the statistics that KenPom calculates is minutes continuity, which is defined as the percentage of a team's court time that is used by the same players from one season to the next. It's a deeper way to measure experience and cohesion versus simply calculating the number of upperclassmen or returning starters a team is bringing back.
The Cavaliers have consistently ranked above the Division-I average using this method. This past season, 60.2 percent of their minutes were claimed by the same players who used them in 2017-18, and that number has not dipped below 55 percent in the aforementioned six years.
Virginia has gone 178-36 in that span.
Of course, it hasn't been just anyone, as the Cavaliers have been able to rely on the same go-to players from year to year. After becoming the first No. 1 seed to lose in the first round of the NCAA Tournament, Virginia brought back the entire Hunter-Guy-Jerome trio for 2018-19, with much better results.
That core ultimately combined to score 67 of Virginia's 85 points in the championship win over Texas Tech, and all three are hoping to be selected in Thursday's NBA draft.