Where: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
When: Saturday, February 16th, 1:00 PM
Records: UNC 23-2, 8-2 ACC; VT 14-10, 5-5 ACC
"I’ve never seen anything like it, and I’ve never been involved in anything like it,"
-Roy Williams during his Friday press conference
That makes two of us, Roy. So for a fourth straight game, UNC will go without Lawson which has proven to be tough enough as it is. Add to his absence the possibility Deon Thompson might not play as well flu stricken Danny Green. This puts UNC in the position of having to depend on some players like Mike Copeland and Will Graves who have not seen much of the floor this season. Of course as commenter, william, pointed out this might turn out to be a good thing that these guys get meaningful minutes now in case they are needed down the road.
Whatever the case I expect another game which ends up being far more difficult than it would be if the Heels were playing at full strength. As usual I expect Tyler Hansbrough to continue to carry this team on his back, bad toe and all. Wayne Ellington has responded nicely since the Duke loss and Marcus Ginyard has found some offense to go with his defense. As always the day rests on Quentin Thomas and his improving ability to get the offense working. VT plays decent defense but really struggles shooting the basketball. Struggling offensive units have often found the range versus UNC. If that happens again on Saturday, the Heels will need to crack the VT defense and avoid their athletic shot blocker.
I have high hopes this is the last game UNC plays sans Lawson. Given the nature of everything that is happening another survival mode game is the likely way this one will unfold.
UNC 80 VT 64