North Carolina hasn't had the start to the season that they hoped for. Yet, they still have a chance to reach the heights they hoped to at the beginning of the season.
Those hopes run through the ACC. That means having to defeat Virginia, who has been among the best teams in the Coastal Division for years. They look to be back in top form again this year. So, this is a must win for the Tar Heels.
Oddsmakers love North Carolina in this matchup. North Carolina is an 8 point favorite, and they're given -303 odds to win the game outright. That's an implied 75.2% chance to win the game. On the flip side, Virginia is given +260 odds, or an implied 27.8% chance to pull off the upset.
Basically, oddsmakers think North Carolina is a massive favorite to win this game. They expect a win.
North Carolina and Virginia have played each other 116 times in their history. North Carolina has won 64 of those games. The issue is, Virginia has won each of their last 4 meetings.
The good news is that 3 of those 4 losses were by 1 score. So, they've at least been competitive. Perhaps this will be the year Sam Howell will defeat Virginia.
North Carolina has struggled with Virginia the past few years. They don't have any room for those struggles to return this year. It's only the third game of the year, but if they want to live up to their preseason expectations this is a game they must win.