USA TODAY Sports
Must win for the NCAA Tournament resume? Must win for the NCAA Tournament resume.
North Carolina(16-8, 6-5 ACC) vs Virginia(18-6, 6-3 ACC), 12:00 PM, ACC Network
It is entirely possible all anyone wants to see in this game is whether or not Roy Williams uses the small lineup again. Oh and UNC's NCAA Tournament positioning is precarious at best which makes the final seven games extremely important. In fact, Virginia, like UNC is in a similar position where the NCAA Tournament is concerned. With a win versus UNC already in hand, a clean sweep would certainly raise the Cavaliers' profile and leave the Heels even worse off than they were before.
Virginia represents UNC's third straight game against a KenPom top 15 defensive team. Add to that the Cavalier's slow tempo and you have was it routinely a very tough game. A game with fewer possessions against a very good defense for a team prone to offensive droughts is not an ideal situation. This sort of game could be fraught with disaster for the Heels, especially since it is sort of a must-win.
That and Virginia only starting one post player should mean P.J. Hairston starts again at power forward. Like in the Duke game, the lineup should permit UNC to spread the floor and give the Cavaliers a new wrinkle to look at. Playing at home after two games on the road should also be a boost. UNC has done a fairly good job this season rebounding from losses. Even the loss to Duke was a nice recovery from the beat down taken at Miami. Avoiding a three game losing streak is a must as is getting the inside track on Virginia for the stretch run.
UNC 69 UVa 55