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Tale of the Tape: UNC-Virginia

Rob Kinnan-USA TODAY Sports

Heels vs Cavaliers

North Carolina Virginia
Record 23-5 21-6
ACC Record 12-3 10-5
KenPom Rank #6 #3
Points per game 83.8 70.7
Adj. Off. Efficiency(Rank) 119.8(5th) 117.8(11th)
Ad. Def. Efficiency(Rank) 95.7(30th) 92.7(9th)
Tempo(Rank) 72.4(44th) 61.5(351st)
Offensive eFG% 52.4% 54.9%
Defensive eFG% 47.8% 48.5%
Field Goal % 48.3% 49.3%
2P FG% 54.3% 52.9%
3P FG% 31.4% 40.0%
FT% 73.7% 75.2%
Offensive Reb Rate 39.1% 29.9%
Defensive Reb Rate 70.2% 74.5%
TO Rate 15.0% 15.3%
FT Rate 33.1% 32.0%
3PA% 26.2% 27.6%

Obviously this is a meeting between contrasting styles. Virginia is 351st in tempo while UNC is 44th.. The Tar Heels normally average almost 11 possessions per game more than the Cavaliers. That is a shock to the system and since it is much easier to slow the game down than speed it up, the game's tempo will not be to UNC's liking. That means the Tar Heels cannot afford any offensive droughts or a less than normally efficient game.

The rebounding numbers reveal an interesting match-up. UNC is the ACC 's best offensive rebounding team and seventh nationally. Virginia is 27th in defensive rebounding and also leads the ACC. This is a strength-on-strength battle. UNC derives some offense from offensive rebounds and Virginia is an expert in shutting that down. If the Tar Heels are missing shots and can't get second chances, the offense will stall.

On the other end, Virginia doesn't generally rebound well on its own offensive glass. Instead the Cavaliers opt to set up on defense at the other end. That means abandoning some second opportunities to make certain UNC can't get into transition off a missed shot. Since UNC should be able to maintain an edge of the defensive glass forcing missed shots should allow the Tar Heels to close out the defensive possession.

That is assuming Virginia misses that many shots. UVa is 2nd in ACC games in 2P% and 2nd in 3P%. This will be a tough test for the Tar Heel defense but one there is increasing evidence of late UNC can handle.