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Heel Tough Blog: UNC vs. UVA Preview

The Miami game was the game that wasn’t after the DTH posted a video of Bacot and Sharpe partying with no masks on. The team has since apologized and there are no more delays expected. To be fair everyone tested negative and it was Miami that decided they weren’t comfortable enough to play. The outrage over the postponement and possible cancelation of the game has been unreal. From death threats to players to the amount of comments on fan group pages, it has been insane. A lot of people were just absolutely going after these players because they were mad they didn’t have the planned entertainment for Monday night. Others went full rona panic mode. Some of these people are the same ones that told everyone else to be patient about their on court performance because they are young. Well guess what? They are young. These young men are college students and just beat their biggest rival. Bacot had beaten Duke for the first time since being at Carolina and this was Sharpe’s first UNC vs. Duke game. They had done a good job up until that point of following the protocols and rules the team had put in place to prevent a stoppage due to the rona. They slipped up. ONCE. I would also suggest that if you are going to be doing something you aren’t supposed to be doing that you make sure it stays off of social media. We all made less than stellar decisions in college or just when we were young in general. Lesson learned.

From an actual basketball standpoint, we may not have had a lot to gain from that game. The game had the potential of a Duke hangover game or a trap game from looking ahead to UVA. A bad loss wouldn’t have helped our NCAA resume and a win against a 7-11 Miami team wouldn’t have done much for it either. I’m sure the players are in much better shape now after missing that game. Looking at it from another angle… It definitely halted all the momentum we got from beating Duke. The last time we had a week off between games it didn’t go well. *Cough, cough* The Clemson game. It could have been a win to pad our record as the back half of our schedule offers no break and could be brutal. It was also going to be a much needed home game, but the guys probably still did plenty of running in the Smith Center.


Carolina is 131-59 against Virginia.

• Virginia has won six straight games against UNC.

• Carolina is 44-36 in Charlottesville, including 4-6 at John Paul Jones Arena.

• Virginia has won six in a row at John Paul Jones Arena. UNC's most recent win at Virginia came on 2/2/5/2012.


The Cavaliers beat UNC twice last season, by nine points in early December in Charlottesville and by two on a last-second three-pointer in February in Chapel Hill

It was the third straight season UNC did not come away with a win over Virginia.

DEC. 8, 2019 – @VIRGINIA 56, UNC 47

Freshman Cole Anthony (12) and Armando Bacot (11) were the only Tar Heels to score in double figures.

Virginia shot 32.7 percent. It was the first time in 27 games that Carolina lost when holding the opponents under 40 percent.

The teams combined for only four fastbreak points (two apiece).

FEB. 15, 2020 – VIRGINIA 64, @UNC 62

Tomas Woldetensae hit a 3FG with 0.8 seconds to play to give Virginia the win.

Armando Bacot had a season-high 16 rebounds.

Garrison Brooks scored a game-high 20 points.

It marked the first time Virginia won consecutive games in Chapel Hill.


UNC is 12-6 (7-4 in the ACC) coming off of win at Duke/postponement of Miami game

#9 UVA is 14-3 (10-1 in the ACC) coming off of win at Georgia Tech

UNC travels to Virginia to play the 9th ranked Cavaliers. Virginia isn’t even a state, it’s a commonwealth and their basketball team will about bore you to sleep. We love to hate their style of play because it's about as exciting to watch as watching grass grow, but it is efficient. They shoot 50% from the field and 40% from three. They tend to use a majority of the shot clock and it can be depleting for a defense. It is also hard to play fast when the other team continuously puts the ball in the basket and only turns the ball over around 9 times a game. UVA is holding opponents to 59.4 points a game and 41.2% from the floor.

UVA starts two seniors (Hauser, Huff), 2 juniors (Murphy and Clark) and 1 freshman (Beekman). The majority of the scoring comes from the starters as the bench production has dropped off the past couple of games. They play around an 8 man rotation and it can vary depending on matchups. They also have 4 players shooting over 40% from 3 point range Hauser at 42.4, Huff at 46, Murphy at 48 and Woldetensae at 43.2.

The matchup between the Tar Heel freshman guards and Virginia’s experienced guards will be huge. Our freshman guards have struggled when playing experienced guards and Virginia’s guards have a high basketball IQ and are particularly pesky on the defensive end. Our guards have struggled against pressure defense and we spend most of the time dribbling around the perimeter against pressure defense. Love and Davis need to make an effort to get in the lane. We can't turn the ball over at the rate that we have. In a game where each possession will be precious we can't afford to not get a shot up. We have around a 10 point advantage in rebounds, points in the paint and second chance points. UVA is not a great rebounding team for both starting forwards being over 6’10”, but that could be because they make half their shots.

Love is coming off his best game of the year and Walton went a perfect 4-4 from 3 against Duke, hopefully they can carry that momentum into this game. Clark is only 5’9” to Love’s 6’4”, so if Love can make his way to the basket like he did in the Duke game he could use his size to finish at the rim.

Once again UNC holds the size advantage in the post. Virginia’s post players tend to play more on the outside whereas the Tar Heel big men thrive with their back to the basket and getting offensive rebounds. Our post players protecting the three will be crucial. I would like to see Brooks, Bacot, and Sharpe play Huff and Hauser close out on the perimeter. They probably aren’t going to drive by them on a continuous basis and I rather them get a 2 than a 3 especially considering how well each guy is shooting from 3. Both Huff and Hauser are coming off of below average games against Georgia Tech where neither player managed to reach double figures.

Virginia likes to double the post and interior passing will be key. The opposite post player and guards must make themselves available. Brooks and Bacot have seen this before and hopefully they share their wisdom with Sharpe and Kessler. We shot 10-15 from 3 against Duke and I doubt we replicate that success again this season but outside shooting could be huge. With the double team, we could get some open shots and must knock them down. Virginia has had our number lately and I was in Smith Center last year when they beat us on a last second 3. This is a huge opportunity to boost our tournament resume. Beat a top 10 team on the road and the “bubble talk” should cease.


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