Virginia (11-3) at Wake Forest (7-6)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Wednesday, January 9, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Lawrence Joel Coliseum (14,665) -- Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Television: Regional Sports Network. Home Record: Virginia 10-1, Wake Forest 5-2. Away Record: Virginia 1-1, Wake Forest 1-2. Neutral Record: Virginia 0-1, Wake Forest 1-2. Conference Record: Virginia 1-0, Wake Forest 0-1. Series Record:Wake Forest leads, 69-60.
GAME NOTES: The Virginia Cavaliers look to take their success on the road as they visit the Lawrence Joel Coliseum for an Atlantic Coast Conference tilt against the Wake Forest Demons Deacons.
Tony Bennett's Cavaliers downed North Carolina by nine points in their ACC opener to pick up their second victory in a row and improve to 11-3 on the season. Virginia has been thriving due to its exceptional play on the defensive end of the floor. It is leading the ACC in scoring defense (50.8 ppg) on just 35.4 percent shooting from the floor. As a result of the slower style of play, the Cavaliers are also last in the conference in scoring at 64.5 ppg.
Wake Forest began to build up some momentum with three consecutive victories over Furman, UNC Greensboro, and Xavier heading into its league slate, but it could not keep the ball rolling into Cameron Indoor Stadium where it was handed an 80-62 loss by top-ranked Duke. Jeff Bzdelik's squad is 7-6 overall, but a much more steady 5-2 in its own gym. The Demon Deacons are sixth in the conference in scoring (69.8 ppg), but they are just 10th on the other end of the floor, where they give up 69.4 ppg.
Although the Cavaliers completed a 68-44 rout of the Demon Deacons in last season's lone encounter, Wake Forest owns a 69-60 edge in the all-time series. The Demon Deacons own a 17-3 record against Virginia at the Lawrence Joel Coliseum.
Virginia showed how stingy it can be its last time out, as the Tar Heels scored just 52 points on 19-of-51 shooting (37.3 percent) after coming in with the fourth highest scoring average in the nation. Joe Harris poured in 19 points to lead the way for UVA, which received points from all nine of its players who saw action. Akil Mitchell pulled down 11 boards to help Virginia win for the sixth time in seven outings. Harris is the leading scorer at 15.3 ppg, while Mitchell is close behind with 12.8 points to go along with his team-best 9.3 rebounds per tilt.
Although Travis McKie registered a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds and C.J. Harris netted 19 points and four assists, Wake Forest was unable to upset Duke in its ACC season tip-off on Saturday. The Demon Deacons trailed by 11 at halftime, but they allowed the Blue Devils to sink 56.7 percent of their field goal attempts after the break. McKie is pacing the team with 15.1 points and 8.2 rebounds per contest and Harris chips in 14.6 ppg. Wake Forest does not have too many consistent offensive threats beyond its dynamic duo. Freshman guard Codi Miller-McIntyre has shown promise recently by scoring 24 total points against Xavier and Duke.
The Demon Deacons are going to desperately need scoring beyond McKie and Harris in this one, as even those two are going to struggle against the swarming Cavaliers. Harris will continue to push the Cavaliers as they emerge even more as an early season ACC Championship contender.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Virginia 70, Wake Forest 54
01/09 10:36:29 ET