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Previewing Virginia

You're a top-ten basketball team in a bit of a tailspin, having lost your first two games in the ACC and dropped from your number one ranking down to sixth. You're fans are beginning to panic and speculate about chemistry issues - what team in the ACC would you most like to play? How about the team with the worst overall record, 7-6 Virginia?

Yeah they'll do nicely, as long as you ignore the historical parallels. (The Cavaliers were the team UNC met the last time they were 0-2 in conference, and they lost that one as well.) Virginia is another young team, youngest in the conference in fact, starting all of one upperclassman, and with only four players who took the floor for both last year's UNC game and last week's loss to Virginia Tech. The gaping hole, of course, is Sean Singletary sized, and it's being filled by two freshmen - Sammy Zeglinski, who's running the point, and Sylven Landesberg, who takes the majority of the shots. Neither is the outside threat Singletary was, so unsurprisingly Virginia has gone from being a decent three-point shooting team to being one of the worst major conference teams in the NCAA. The Hoos will want to go inside for most of their points, where Carolina happens to have a couple of large people who play basketball very well. This will be problematic, to say the least.

Defensively, Virginia isn't much better. They generate some of the fewest turnovers in country, and are especially poor at grabbing steals. It's no surprise the wins on their schedule are mostly populated with Radford's and Longwoods, although they did eke out an overtime win over Georgia Tech to kickoff the conference season, meaning yes, the Cavs are ahead of the Heels in the conference standings right now. Expect tht to change tonight, or massive amounts of panic to set in in Chapel Hill.