Where: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
When: January 10th, 9:00 PM
TV: Raycom/LF Split
Records: UNC 14-1, 1-0 ACC, Virginia 9-4, 1-0 ACC
This is UNC's first game as the nation's #1 team which is always a dangerous proposition. It's a good thing they are playing in Chapel Hill. UVa basically lives and dies by the perimeter game and if they get hot from outside it will be tough for UNC. UVa is also extremely inconistent to the point no one can possibly know which team will show up on any given night. There is also a question of how much UNC's depth and the fact their second five is not really a drop-off from the first will impact UVa by the time the midpoint of the second half rolls around. The other question is how well the improving UNC defense plays, especially against a team so perimeter oriented on offense. The knock on UNC earlier this season was their inablity to guard the perimeter. That issue seems to be resolved more or less(Roy would say less.)
Of course the main attention of this game will be on how the freshmen Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington handled the two experienced guards of UVA, J.R. Reynolds and all-ACC candidate Sean Singletary. On that basis I would expect Bobby Frasor and Quentin Thomas to be instrumental at point with their defense. The same goes for Marcus Ginyard who could be called upon as the Heels' defensive specialist to shadow one of the UVa scorers. The interior game should belong to UNC with Hansbrough and Wright doing what they do and that is score easy baskets while also controlling the boards.
As I said, I am glad this one is at home. UVA is coming off a tough loss to Stanford at home which followed a complete domination of Gonzaga. The Cavs are dangerous but should fall short without the talent to overcome UNC's depth and general talent level.
UNC 96 UVa 72