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Virginia (18-6) at North Carolina (16-8)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 16, 12 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: Dean E. Smith Center (21,750) -- Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Television: ACC Network. Home Record: UVA 15-1, UNC 11-1. Away Record: UVA 3-4, UNC 3-6. Neutral Record: UVA 0-1, UNC 2-1. Conference Record: UVA 8-3, UNC 6-5. Series Record: UNC leads, 127-50.
GAME NOTES: The Virginia Cavaliers will go for the season sweep of the North Carolina Tar Heels when the two meet up for an Atlantic Coast Conference clash at the Smith Center.
Virginia currently holds down third place in the ACC standings behind second- ranked Duke and No. 3 Miami. The Cavaliers have won three in a row and seven of their last eight games overall. They had little trouble disposing of Virginia Tech on Tuesday, 73-55.
North Carolina went on the road this past week and lost to Miami last Saturday (87-61) and Duke on Wednesday (73-68). Prior to those back-to-back losses against top-5 foes, the Tar Heels had won six of seven and were making a move up the ACC standings. Still, they have to like their chances of getting back on track as the Tar Heels are 11-1 at home this season.
UNC leads the all-time series, 127-50, although Virginia was a 61-52 winner over the Tar Heels when these teams met in Charlottesville last month.
UVA's Joe Harris buried five 3-pointers in the first half against Virginia Tech and finished with a career-high 26 points. Teammate Akil Mitchell chipped in with 17 points and eight rebounds in the victory, but it was the Cavaliers' strong defensive effort that was the difference as they limited the Hokies to 34.6-percent shooting. They held VT's Erick Green, the national scoring leader, without a field goal until nearly four minutes into the second half. He finished just 4-of-17 from the floor after torching UVA for 35 points in the first meeting a few weeks earlier. On the season, the Cavaliers lead the ACC and rank third nationally in scoring defense, limiting foes to 52.3 ppg. On the offensive end of the floor, Harris is scoring a team-high 16.3 ppg and is shooting at a 48.4-percent clip from beyond the arc (59-of-122). Mitchell is next in line with 12.8 points to go along with a team-best 8.8 rebounds per tilt.
Sophomore James Michael McAdoo headlines the Tar Heels' lineup with 14.6 points and 8.2 rebounds per game. Junior Reggie Bullock is next in line with 14.2 ppg and 5.7 rpg, followed by another sophomore, P.J. Hairston, with 12.6 ppg. While McAdoo holds down the paint, Bullock and Hairston can really inflict some damage from the perimeter. That duo has combined to knock down 107 threes on 41-percent accuracy. UNC is +8.4 in scoring margin (77.9 ppg) on the season and +4.5 on the boards (41.5). After getting blown out of the gym by Miami a few nights earlier, the Tar Heels rebounded with a much better effort against second-ranked Duke, although the end result was still the same. In fact, they led for the first 26 minutes until the Blue Devils began to seize control. Ultimately, UNC's 13-of-23 effort at the foul line proved costly, particularly a 3-of-10 stretch late in the contest. Hairston finished with a team-high 23 points in the loss, while Bullock scored 15.
If the Cavaliers hope to sweep the season series, they'll have to do so on the road against a Tar Heels team that is desperate to get back into the win column.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Carolina 61, Virginia 55
02/16 10:40:05 ET
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