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Jan. 21, 2002


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The Game
Virginia, ranked seventh in both the AP and USAToday/ESPN polls, stands at 12-2 overall and 3-2 in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season. The Cavaliers are coming off a 91-74 victory over Florida State (Jan. 20) at University Hall for their third consecutive victory. Georgia Tech stands at 7-11 overall and 0-5 in the ACC. The Yellow Jackets are coming off an 84-71 loss to N.C. State (Jan. 19) in Raleigh, N.C.

The Series vs. Georgia Tech
Each team has had a stretch of dominating the series, which Georgia Tech now leads 30-25. The Cavaliers held the lead until the Yellow Jackets passed Virginia by winning 20 of the last 26 meetings, including nine of the last 10. Georgia Tech is riding a four-game winning streak in the series, including three wins last season. Georgia Tech swept the regular season series with a 73-68 win (Jan. 9) in Charlottesville (Georgia Tech was the only team to defeat UVa at University Hall last season) and a 62-56 triumph (Feb. 11) in Atlanta. The Yellow Jackets also posted a 74-69 victory (Mar. 9) over Virginia in the ACC Tournament in Atlanta. The Cavaliers’ last victory in the series was an 83-65 triumph (Jan. 8) in the 1999-2000 season in Charlottesville.

The Jackets hold a 20-7 advantage in games played in Atlanta in the series and have won seven consecutive games and 11 of the last 12 in the Peachtree city. Virginia’s 83-60 win in 1995 (Feb. 22) was the Cavaliers’ most recent victory over the Yellow Jackets in Atlanta. The 23-point margin of victory is Virginia’s largest in the series since a 91-59 win in 1984 in Charlottesville.

The Cavaliers have won three of five overtime contests in the series, but their 74-68 overtime loss to Georgia Tech in the 1998-99 season snapped a three-game extra session winning streak. The Jackets won the first overtime game in the series 72-71 in triple overtime in the 1983-84 season.

The Cavaliers opened the series with Georgia Tech by winning 10 of the first 13 games, including eight straight from 1981-1983.

These Games are Barn Burners
Even though 10 of the last 15 meetings between these two teams have been decided by at least nine points, people shouldn’t be surprised if this one goes down to the wire.

Of the 42 games since the 1983-84 season, only 14 have been decided by 10 or more points. Sixteen of the games have been decided by a margin of four points or less with UVa winning nine of them. The Cavaliers have won all three games (1987, 1990 twice) decided by two points. Five games have gone into overtime, including a triple overtime affair (1984) and a double overtime game (1995).

From 1985 to 1990 the teams played 15 consecutive games that were decided by fewer than 10 points with Virginia winning eight of those games.

A breakdown of the close games in the series since the 1983-84 season is below:

1 point - 3      4 points - 4       7 points - 42 points - 3     5 points - 3       8 points - 13 points - 6     6 points - 2       9 points - 2

Jackets Shoot Well vs. UVa
The Yellow Jackets have won 11 of the last 13 meetings vs. Virginia in the past six seasons and a big part of those wins has been Georgia Tech’s ability to shoot the basketball. In the 11 wins, the Jackets shot 47.5 percent (292-615) from the field. In the two games Georgia Tech lost to Virginia in the last six seasons, the Yellow Jackets made only 41.3 percent (43-104) of their attempts from the field. In its last 11 wins over the Cavaliers, Georgia Tech averaged 77.8 points per game compared to 64.5 points per game in its last two losses to UVa.

In Georgia Tech’s last 20 wins over Virginia dating back to the championship game of the 1990 ACC Tournament, the Yellow Jackets are shooting 47.2 percent from the field, while averaging 74.7 points.

That is in contrast to Georgia Tech’s performance when Virginia wins. In Virginia’s eight wins over Georgia Tech dating back to the beginning of the 1990s, the Yellow Jackets have shot 40.5 percent from the floor and scored an average of 70.4 points.

In Virginia’s last eight wins against Georgia Tech, the Yellow Jackets have not shot better than 42.6 percent from the field (29 of 68 in the 1994-95 season).

Leading Free Throw Shooter in ACC History
With his four for four performance from the free throw line against Florida State (Jan. 20), junior guard Roger Mason, Jr., surpassed Wake Forest’s Charlie Davis (1969-71) as the most accurate free throw shooter in ACC history. Mason has made 248 of 284 for 87.32 percent, while Davis made 578 of 662 free throws for 87.31 percent.

37 Free Throws Made
Virginia made 37 of 44 free throws against Florida State (Jan. 20), which ties for the third most made free throws in a game by the Cavaliers in school history. UVa also made 37 (of 51) free throws against VMI on Feb. 18, 1956. The school record is 40 made free throws (54 attempts) against Duke on Feb. 22, 1955. The Cavaliers also made 38 of 44 attempts from the charity stripe against Washington & Lee (Jan. 14, 1955). UVa’s 44 attempts from the line against FSU ties for the 19th most in school history.

Taking Advantage of the Free Throw Line
The Cavaliers had struggled a bit from the free throw line this season, but turned things around in the last three games. In its last outing against Florida State (Jan. 20), the Cavaliers made 37 of 44 attempts (both season highs) for 84.1 percent. Against Wake Forest (Jan. 15), UVa connected on a season-best 20 of 22 attempts from the free throw line for an impressive 90.9 percent. Virginia also made 16 of 19 free throws vs. North Carolina (Jan. 12). In the past three games, the Cavaliers are 73 of 85 from the charity stripe for an outstanding 85.9 percent.

On the season, UVa is 268-376 (71.3 percent) from the free throw line. UVa is leading the ACC in free throw shooting in conference games, having connected on 79.3 percent (92-116) of its attempts.

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