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72


Virginia Tech (11-9) at North Carolina (14-6)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Saturday, February 2, 12 p.m. (et)

FACTS & STATS: Site: Dean E. Smith Center (21,750) -- Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Television: ACC Network. Home Record: VT 8-4, UNC 9-1. Away Record: VT 2-3, UNC 3-4. Neutral Record: VT 1-2, UNC 2-1. Conference Record: VT 2-5, UNC 4-3. Series Record: UNC leads, 62-13.

GAME NOTES: The Virginia Tech Hokies pay a visit to the Smith Center to take on the North Carolina Tar Heels in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup.

Virginia Tech has lost three in a row and seven of its last nine games overall. The most recent of those setbacks came at home against 14th-ranked Miami on Wednesday night, 73-64. Following this tilt, the Hokies will return to Blacksburg, Virginia to host Maryland and Georgia Tech next week.

North Carolina has taken care of business on its home floor, winning nine of 10 at the Smith Center this season. The Tar Heels have won four of their last five overall, including Tuesday's 82-70 road win at Boston College. They'll stick around Chapel Hill to host Wake Forest on Tuesday.

UNC owns a commanding, 62-13 advantage in the head-to-head series.

The Hokies became the eighth consecutive victim of ACC-leading Miami earlier this week. VT led, 32-29 at the half, but the Hurricanes grabbed the momentum by shooting 50 percent from the floor and knocking down 6-of-13 3-pointers in the second half. Erick Green scored a game-high 30 points in a losing effort, as he accounted for five of the Hokies' 10 treys on the night. Jarell Eddie contributed 14 points, while Cadarian Raines finished with 10 points and eight rebounds off the bench. After shooting 54.2 percent as a team in the first half, the Hokies were held to 37.9-percent shooting over the final 20 minutes. On the season, Green continues to lead the nation in scoring, as he is averaging 25.5 points per game. Eddie is next in line with 14.4 ppg, although no other VT player is averaging double figures, and that lack of scoring balance has proven costly throughout the season.

The Hokies will likely catch a break with UNC sophomore guard P.J. Hairston (12.4 ppg) considered doubtful for today's game. Hairston suffered a concussion against BC on Tuesday night after scoring 14 points in 12 minutes during the first half. Hairston's production is not easily replaced, considering he has made 12 of his last 18 3-pointers and is third on the team in scoring. Still, the cupboard is not exactly bare for coach Roy Williams' squad, as James Michael McAdoo (14.7 ppg, 8.5 rpg) and Reggie Bullock (13.7 ppg, 5.7 rpg) continue to present matchup problems for the opposition. McAdoo is a menace on the boards, while Bullock is shooting at an impressive 45- percent clip from beyond the arc (48-of-107). On Tuesday night, McAdoo recorded a double-double with 17 points and 10 caroms, while Hairston and Dexter Strickland finished with 14 points apiece. The Tar Heels were able to overcome the absence of Hairston in the second half thanks to a 15-point lead at the break.

Green has put the Hokies on his shoulders this season, with varying success. But playing on the road against a team of UNC's caliber, Green will no doubt need some help from his supporting cast if Tech is to pull off the upset.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Carolina 72, Virginia Tech 62

02/02 10:40:48 ET