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Jan. 11, 2002


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The Game
Virginia, ranked seventh in the AP poll and fifth in the USAToday/ESPN poll, stands at 9-2 overall and 0-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season. The Cavaliers are coming off a 68-52 loss to Clemson (Jan. 8) at Littlejohn Coliseum. North Carolina stands at 5-7 overall and 1-2 in the ACC. In their last outing, the Tar Heels lost 112-79 to fourth-ranked Maryland (Jan. 9) at Cole Field House in College Park, Md.

The Series vs. North Carolina
North Carolina leads the all-time series with the Cavaliers 114-43 in a rivalry that dates back to the 1910-11 season. UVa split the 2000-2001 season series with the Tar Heels with both teams winning at home. North Carolina won the first meeting of the 2000-2001 season 88-81 in Chapel Hill (Jan. 24), while Virginia posted an 86-66 victory in Charlottesville (Feb. 25). The Cavaliers sweep of the 1999-2000 regular season series, marked the first time that has happened since the 1980-81 season. (UNC, however, won the meeting in the 1981 NCAA Tournament’s Final Four).

Virginia’s victory in Chapel Hill in the 1999-2000 season was its first ever triumph at the Smith Center. The Cavaliers lost their previous 14 games in the Dean Dome. The win also snapped UVa’s 18-game losing streak in Chapel Hill. Prior to 1999-2000, the previous Virginia victory in Chapel Hill came on February 3, 1981, when UVa posted an 80-79 overtime victory.

Despite Virginia’s win in 1999-2000, the Tar Heels have dominated the series in games played in Chapel Hill, winning 57 of the 61 meetings. The Cavaliers are 1-15 at the Smith Center.

Virginia’s wins in Chapel Hill occurred on: February 24, 1911 – UVa 18, UNC 15, January 25, 1973 – UVa 84, UNC 78 (UNC ranked fifth), February 3, 1981 – UVa 80, UNC 79 (UNC ranked 11th) in overtime, and February 20, 2000 – UVa 90, UNC 76. North Carolina has won nine of the last 13 games and 19 of the last 26 games between the two teams.

Mason One of 30 Midseason Wooden Candidates
Junior guard Roger Mason, Jr., has been selected as one of 30 Midseason Candidates for the 2001-2002 Wooden Award Player of the Year and All-American Team in a national poll of The John R. Wooden Award Midseason Committee. The top 30 candidates were selected based on individual performance and team records thus far in the 2001-2002 season.

The 10-member Wooden Award All-American Team will be announced on March 26, 2002. The Wooden Award Trophy given to the nation’s Most Outstanding Collegiate Basketball Player of the Year will be presented on April 7, 2002.

Shooting Lots of Three-Pointers Against the Tar Heels
Since the 1989-90 season, the Cavaliers attempted an average of 21.3 three-point field goals (618 in 29 games) per game against North Carolina. Virginia made 203 of those 618 attempts (32.8 percent) for 7.0 made threes per game. Since the 1988-89 season, the Cavaliers have attempted 20 or more threes in a game against the Tar Heels 19 times.

Three of Virginia’s top six games in terms of three-point field goals attempted have come against North Carolina (the other three are against Clemson). Prior to attempting a school-record 38 three-pointers against Clemson (Jan. 15, 2000), Virginia’s 32 attempts against UNC on February 14, 1990 and March 7, 1997 marked the Cavaliers’ all-time high for three-pointers attempted in a game.

Virginia also set its school record for most three-point field goals made in the February 14, 1990 game against UNC with 15. (Virginia equaled the mark of 15 threes made in a game against Hampton on November 25, 1998.)

Ending Smith Center Drought
The Cavaliers will try for their second victory ever at the Smith Center today. In the 1999-2000 season, Virginia defeated UNC 90-76 (Feb. 20) at the Smith Center for the first time. It also marked UVa’s first victory over North Carolina on its home court since an 80-79 overtime win at Carmichael Auditorium on February 3, 1981.

The Smith Center has not been a successful arena for the Cavaliers as their 1-15 all-time record attests.

Virginia has suffered from some scoring droughts in the Smith Center through the years. The Cavaliers have scored fewer than 70 points in seven of their last 11 games in the Smith Center.

The Cavaliers average 66.8 points per game against UNC at the Smith Center, while the Tar Heels average 79.6 vs. UVa.

Virginia has shot better than 42 percent from the field at the Smith Center only four times and is shooting 38.9 percent all-time in the building. The Cavaliers have topped 44 percent only twice at the Smith Center (50.8 percent in their first game in the arena during the 1985-86 season, and 44.9 percent (31-69) in the 1999-2000 season’s win). Carolina is shooting 49.1 percent all-time against UVa at the Smith Center and has shot at least 50 percent seven times (twice in the last nine games).

0-2 ACC Start
Virginia has lost its first two ACC contests this season, marking the first time since the 1998-99 season UVa has lost its first two conference games. The Cavaliers started the 1998-99 conference slate with five consecutive losses.

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