FACTS & STATS: Site: John Paul Jones Arena (14,593) -- Charlottesville,
Virginia. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: UNC 7-0, UVA 9-1. Away Record: UNC
1-2, UVA 1-1. Neutral Record: UNC 2-1, UVA 0-1. Conference Record: UNC 0-0,
UVA 0-0. Series Record: North Carolina leads, 127-49.
GAME NOTES: The North Carolina Tar Heels are set to tip-off their Atlantic
Coast Conference season as they venture to John Paul Jones Arena to tangle
with the Virginia Cavaliers on Sunday night.
The Tar Heels pulled off a 79-73 upset of UNLV on Dec. 29 to close out 2012
with a 10-3 overall record. Roy Williams and his team were not too successful
on the road during the non-conference slate, going 2-2 in away games with
double-digit losses at Indiana (83-59) and Texas (85-67). UNC has the top
scoring offense in the ACC and ranks fourth in the nation with 83.6 points per
game on an astounding 19.5 assists per contest, but it is nowhere near as
impressive on the defensive end, where it is giving up 69.9 ppg.
It will be interesting to see how the Tar Heels' impressive offense performs
against Virginia, which leads the ACC in scoring defense with only 50.7 points
allowed per contest. UVA also has a 10-3 record thanks to its 74-39 rout of
Wofford on Dec. 30. The Cavaliers shot a season-high 63.8 percent from the
field and held an opponent under 40 points for the third time this season.The
victory was the ninth in 10 outings for the Cavaliers, who are 9-1 at John
Paul Jones Arena on the season. Recent history is on UVA's side in this one as
coach Tony Bennett is 3-0 in ACC openers.
The Tar Heels have won the last three games in their series versus Virginia to
build a 127-49 lead in the rivalry. The Cavaliers are just 30-44 all-time
versus UNC in Charlottesville and winless in four tries against the Tar Heels
at John Paul Jones Arena.
North Carolina did not look like an underdog early on last time out, as it
held a 19-6 lead after nine minutes when J.P. Tokoto tipped in a Marcus Paige
miss. The Tar Heels then sustained a UNLV run after the break and made free
throws when it matted to come out on top. Dexter Strickland scored 16 points,
P.J. Hairston posted 15 points to go with four steals, and James Michael
McAdoo added 13 points and nine rebounds. McAdoo is not living up to the
player of the year candidate expectations placed upon him after his promising
freshman campaign in 2011-12, but the sophomore forward is still pacing the
team with decent averages of 14.8 points and 8.3 boards. Reggie Bullock (13.1)
and Hairston (12.4) are both carrying double-digit scoring averages into
league action as well.
Mike Tobey scored 19 points off the bench to spearhead Virginia's offensive
outburst against Wofford last Sunday. Joe Harris and Akil Mitchell each added
15 points, while the Cavaliers held a 31-19 edge in the rebounding battle and
forced 17 Wofford turnovers. Harris, who has scored in double figures in 11 of
13 games, leads the team with 15 ppg. Mitchell is near a double-double with
13.2 points and 9.2 boards per outing, while Darion Atkins is netting a
career-high 8.1 points, 4.8 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks per game.
Although the Tar Heels took down the talented Runnin' Rebels their last time
out, they will have a much tougher time against this unranked conference
rival. Virginia's stifling defense will force UNC to play at a much slower
pace than it is accustomed to. The Cavaliers may not run away with it, but
they should be able to overpower their way to a win over North Carolina.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: Virginia 68, North Carolina 64
Coach K ready for another run at gold When USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo heard that Mike Krzyzewski would not return to Team USA following the gold medal in the 2012 Olympics, he swore he would take the Duke head coach out for "pizza and wine" to convince him to come back. Turns out, all he needed was room service chicken fingers with the legendary coach and a one-on-one meal with Krzyzewski's wife Mickie.
Coach K reintroduced as Team USA coach At a press conference Thursday, Duke University head coach Mike Krzyzewski confirmed that he would rejoin Team USA and coach both the next world championships and the Olympics in 2016.
Bullock's advantage at draft time Jonathan Wasserman, NBA Draft expert for The Bleacher Report discusses the draft prospects of Triangle areal players with The World's Strongest Morning Show on 620 the Buzz.