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Jan. 3, 2002


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The Game
Virginia, ranked fourth in both the AP and USAToday/ESPN polls, stands at 9-0 this season. The Cavaliers are coming off a 112-67 victory over Grambling (Dec. 30) at University Hall. N.C. State stands at 10-3 overall and 0-1 in the ACC. The Wolfpack is coming off a 72-65 loss to sixth-ranked Maryland (Dec. 30) at the Raleigh Entertainment and Sports Arena in its ACC opener.

The Series vs. N.C. State
N.C. State leads the overall series with Virginia 70-49, but the Cavaliers have won 15 of 21 contests in the last 10 seasons. Since 1980, the Cavaliers are 32-16 in all games against the Wolfpack.

The Cavaliers won the initial meeting of the 2000-2001 season 88-81 (Jan. 6) in Charlottesville, but the Wolfpack earned a split in the season series with a 90-80 win (Feb. 7) in Raleigh. The two teams have split the regular season series the last four seasons with the home team winning the last eight regular season meetings. The last time UVa swept the season series was in the 1996-97 season. N.C. State hasn’t swept the season series in more than a decade-since winning both match-ups (by a combined seven points) in 1988. Virginia has swept the season series six times since then.

The Cavaliers have won 22 of the last 24 games between the two teams at University Hall, including the last 13. State’s only two wins in Charlottesville during that stretch came in 1985 and 1988 by a combined margin of three points. Virginia is 24-11 against the Wolfpack at University Hall and 30-20 in Charlottesville. State’s last win at University Hall was a 64-63 victory on February 27, 1988.

Cavaliers Move up to Fourth
Virginia is ranked fourth in The Associated Press (as well as the USAToday/ESPN) Poll, marking the Cavaliers’ highest ranking in the AP poll since the 1982-83 season. UVa was ranked second in the March 8, 1983 AP poll. UVa was ranked fourth in the final AP poll (Mar. 15) of the 1982-83 season.

100th game
Virginia head coach Pete Gillen and senior forward Chris Williams are coaching and playing in their 100th game, respectively, at Virginia this afternoon.

Cavaliers and Wolfpack Battle to the Wire
The history of the series between these two schools since the late 1970s has been one marked by many closely contested games. Since 1978, 38 of the 53 games have been decided by less than 10 points. UVa is 26-12 (.684) in those games.

Virginia’s last eight wins (going back six seasons) over the Wolfpack have been by a combined 40 points (5.0/g).

Since 1978, four games have been decided by one point, five by two points, six by three points, three by four points and three by five points.

It’s curious to note in the long history of the series going back to the first meeting 88 years ago that only three games have gone to overtime. Virginia has been victorious in all three overtime contests. UVa won the first overtime game 81-73 in 1977-78 and won 84-82 in double overtime in 1995-96. In the most recent overtime affair, the Cavaliers won 82-79 in 1998-99. During one stretch (1985-1988) nine consecutive games were decided by nine points or less.

In a bit of an aberration, five of the last six N.C. State wins in the series have been by double digits-67-54 in 1994, 74-55 in 1998, 82-72 in 1999, 76-65 in 2000, and 90-80 in 2001. The exception was a 65-62 Wolfpack win on Jan. 12, 2000.

Field Goal Percentage is Key to Wins Over ‘Pack
Virginia has had the upper hand in the series versus N.C. State over the last 12 yearsand one of the keys to the Cavaliers’ success is field goal percentage defense. Since the 1989-90 season, Virginia has won 17 of 25 contests. In the 17 wins, UVa has held N.C. State below 45 percent field goal shooting 13 times and under 40 percent nine times. In the Wolfpack’s eight victories, they have shot 52.5 percent from the floor, including 61.0 percent (25-41) in the 2000 ACC Tournament (Mar. 10). The lowest NCSU has shot in a victory over the Cavaliers since 1989-90 was 47.2 percent (25-53) in a 67-54 win in the 1993-94 season.

The Wolfpack shot 43.5 percent from the field and averaged 69.8 points per game against Virginia over the last 12 seasons. In wins over UVa, N.C. State has shot 52.5 percent from the floor and averaged 77.6 points, compared to 39.8 percent shooting and 66.2 points per game in losses to Virginia.

Last season, N.C. State shot 61.2 percent (30-49) from the field in its 88-81 loss to UVa (Jan. 6) and 56.6 percent (30-53) in a 90-80 victory (Feb. 7).

Virginia in ACC Openers
Virginia is 19-29 all-time in ACC season openers and is the last ACC team to begin conference play this season. UVa is 13-14 in home ACC openers and 6-15 on the road. The Cavaliers have lost their last six ACC openers. Virginia’s last win in an ACC opener was an 81-75 victory at Florida State in the 1994-95 season.

Tonight’s game is the second time in 49 years that UVa has opened the ACC season against N.C. State. In their first ACC opener against the Wolfpack, UVa lost to top-ranked N.C. State 101-72 in Raleigh on December 7, 1974.

Virginia is 5-3 vs. Wake Forest, 3-2 vs. Florida State, 1-0 vs. Georgia Tech and South Carolina, 8-13 vs. Duke, 1-7 vs. Maryland, 0-2 vs. North Carolina and 0-1 vs. Clemson and N.C. State all-time in ACC openers.

Back-to-Back 9-0 Starts
With its 9-0 start this season, Virginia has posted back-to-back 9-0 starts for the first time since the 1980-81 and 1981-82 seasons. The Cavaliers won their first 10 games of the 2000-2001 season.

In 1980-81, UVa won its first 23 games to start the season. Virginia won its first 12 games in the 1981-82 season.

Points in a Half
Virginia scored 68 points in the first half in its 112-67 win over Grambling (Dec. 30), which is believed to be a school record for points in the first half. UVa’s 68 points is also the third most points scored in a half. Virginia scored 70 points in the second half of a 117-78 win over Coastal Carolina (Nov. 20) last season, which is believed to be the school record for points in a half. The second most points scored in a half is 69 points in the second half of UVa’s 128-98 victory over George Mason (Jan. 28) in the 1994-95 season.

And Then There Were Four
With its perfect 9-0 record, UVa is one of only four Division I teams without a blemish on their record in 2001-2002. Here’s a list of the remaining undefeated Division I teams with their next opponent:

Duke (12-0)              vs. Florida State (Jan. 6)Miami (14-0)             vs. Connecticut (Jan. 5)Oklahoma State	(13-0)    vs. Texas (Jan. 5)Virginia (9-0)           vs. N.C. State (Jan. 5) 
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