Where: John Paul Jones Arena, Charlottesville, VA
When: Thursday, January 15th, 9:00 PM
Records: UNC 14-2, 0-2 ACC; UVa 7-6, 1-1 ACC
Livestats: ESPN Scoreboard
I hate playing at Charlottesville.
I can honestly tell you that I think UNC playing at Charlottesville and Clemson is a bigger issue than playing in Cameron. There is just weirdness when the Heels play in either of those location or maybe in the case of Charlottesville it is because I cannot get that 106-83 beatdown in 1989 out of my head which was compounded by the loss of Jeff Lebo to injury. At any rate, the Heels squeaked one out at UVa last season which came two days after beating Clemson in double overtime. They were also missing Ty Lawson.
This season UNC comes in 0-2 in the ACC which is a shock to everyone. Questions abound concerning what happened to this team on their way down the aisle to their coronation. You would hope we starting getting some answers this evening. If BC ended up being dangerous coming into the Dean Dome then we can safely assume UVa is also a dangerous team though the 7-6 mark means by definition they are really not a good team. The Cavaliers also lost Sean Singletary to graduation and have begun the rebuilding around Sylven Landesburg a 6-6 sophomore guard averaging 18.5 ppg and 6.0 rpg. He seems to be a fairly adequate fill in for Singletary the problem for the Cavs is they lack any other significant scoring threats. Only two other players average in double figures but it should be noted that BC's Reggie Jackson was averaging 7 ppg before he faced UNC which means Calvin Baker or Jamil Tucker ought to be given stern looks.
I think given the past two weeks and all of the speculation swirling around this team the key for UNC in this game is to simply play well from start to finish. Roy says he never watches the scoreboard because he wants to know if they are playing well based on what he sees not the deficit. This game should be all about that mentality. Pay less attention to the score and focus on execution at both ends. That means Ty Lawson needs to manage the game, Tyler Hansbrough, Deon Thompson and Ed Davis need to control the boards, Wayne Ellington needs to find his shot and Danny Green needs to be Danny Freaking Green. And for the love of the Old Well play defense like the next basket loses the game for you. Or as Roy says play smart. If they do that, things will take care of themselves and maybe we will get one of those epic thrashings like the 2005 team administered when they traveled to Charlottesville.
UNC 101 UVa 68