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March 5, 2002


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Virginia Fifth Seed in ACC Tournament
Virginia enters the 2002 Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament as the fifth seed with an overall record of 17-10 and a 7-9 mark in the ACC. The Cavaliers were the fourth seed in last year’s ACC Tournament, and a third seed in 1999-2000, which was UVa’s highest seed since earning the third seed in the 1989 tournament.

Virginia plays N.C. State (20-9 overall, 9-7 ACC) at 2:30 p.m. on Friday (March 8) at the Charlotte Coliseum in the tournament quarterfinals. The game will be televised by Raycom/Jefferson-Pilot and ESPN. Steve Martin will handle the play-by-play. Billy Packer is the analyst.

Virginia has lost its opening game in the ACC Tournament the last six years, including a 74-69 loss (Mar. 9) to Georgia Tech in the 2001 ACC Tournament. UVa’s last victory in the ACC Tournament was a 77-67 triumph over Georgia Tech in the quarterfinals of the 1995 tournament.

The Series vs. N.C. State
N.C. State leads the overall series with Virginia 72-49, including a sweep of the 2001-2002 regular season series. The Wolfpack won 81-74 (Jan. 5) in Charlottesville and 85-68 (Feb. 6) in Raleigh. Despite the two losses this season, the Cavaliers have won 15 of 23 contests against NCSU in the last 11 seasons. Since 1980, the Cavaliers are 32-18 in all games against the Wolfpack.

Including its two wins this season, N.C. State has won three consecutive games in the series with Virginia (and four of the last five). The Wolfpack also won the second meeting of the 2000-2001 season 90-80 (Feb. 7) in Raleigh to begin its current streak.

The two teams had split the regular season series the last four seasons before N.C. State swept the regular season series this year. It marked the Wolfpack’s first sweep over UVa since winning both match-ups (by a combined seven points) in 1988. Virginia has swept the season series six times since then, but the last time UVa swept the season series was in the 1996-97 season.

In the ACC Tournament, N.C. State holds a 10-2 lead, including a 5-2 edge in the quarterfinals. The last time the two teams met in the ACC Tournament was in the 2000 season with the Wolfpack coming away with a 76-65 quarterfinal victory (Mar. 10) in Charlotte. It was also the first meeting between the two teams in the 10 ACC Tournaments that have been held in Charlotte. UVa’s last win over the Wolfpack in the ACC Tournament was in 1986 when the Cavaliers posted a 64-62 victory.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 55 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 89 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, six of the last eight 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, 90-80 in 2001, and 85-68 in 2002. The exceptions were a 65-62 Wolfpack win on Jan. 12, 2000, and an 81-74 win earlier this season (Jan. 5).

This Season vs. N.C. State
N.C. State got the best of Virginia in the two teams’ regular season meetings. The Wolfpack swept the regular season series with an 81-74 win (Jan. 5) in Charlottesville and an 85-68 victory (Feb. 6) in Raleigh.

In the first meeting at University Hall, UVa suffered its first loss of the season as it fell to N.C. State 81-74 (Jan. 5) in the Cavaliers’ conference opener.

Junior forward/center Travis Watson notched his fourth consecutive and seventh double-double of the season with 20 points and 13 rebounds. Senior forward Chris Williams and junior guard Roger Mason, Jr., both tallied 18 points with Mason dishing out six assists.

The Wolfpack raced out to a nine-point lead (12-3) 2:23 into the contest, but the Cavaliers battled back to take their first lead of the game, 26-24, with 7:42 remaining in the opening half. With 5:08 left in the first half and the score tied at 31-31, N.C. State outscored UVa 17-6 to take a 48-37 lead at intermission. The Wolfpack shot 60.7 percent (17-28) from the field in the half, including eight of 13 three-point attempts (61.5 percent).

In the second half, the Cavaliers slowly whittled N.C. State’s lead down and pulled within one point, 65-64, on Williams’ baseline jumper with 9:56 to play. UVa had a chance to take the lead, but Anthony Grundy’s steal and layup began a 6-0 Wolfpack run that opened up a 71-64 advantage. N.C. State outscored Virginia 16-10 after Williams’ basket at the 9:56 mark for the 81-74 win.

Both teams shot 49.1 percent from the floor, but NCSU made 11 three-pointers (on 23 attempts) compared to the Cavaliers’ seven (on 20 attempts).

Julius Hodge led N.C. State with 21 points, while Grundy added 19 points and six assists.

In the second meeting of the season at the Sports and Entertainment Center, Virginia lost its fourth consecutive game as N.C. State posted an 85-68 victory over the Cavaliers (Feb. 6) in Raleigh.

Watson paced Virginia with a career-high 29 points and he pulled down 12 rebounds for his 12th double-double of the season. He also added three assists and three steals. Mason and freshman forward Jason Clark rounded out UVa’s double figure scorers with 12 and 10 points, respectively.

N.C. State jumped out to an 11-6 lead three minutes into the contest, but UVa used an 8-0 spurt to take a 14-11 lead at the 12:58 mark. The Wolfpack took the lead for good, 19-18, at the 9:20 mark on a layup by Scooter Sherrill. N.C. State went on to take a 40-28 halftime advantage.

A 12-4 Wolfpack run to open the second half pushed the lead to 20 points, 52-32 with 16:36 remaining. The Cavaliers closed to within 11 (75-64) with 1:49 left, but could get no closer.

The Wolfpack shot 50.9 percent (27-53) from the floor, including 45.0 percent (9-20) from the three-point line. UVa shot 40.4 percent (23-57) from the field and was just 1-12 (8.3 percent) on three-point attempts. The Cavaliers held a 38-31 edge in rebounds, including a 13-5 advantage on the offensive glass. UVa was plagued by 20 turnovers while NCSU committed only 13 miscues.

Grundy led the Wolfpack with 25 points, seven rebounds, four assists and four steals. Sherrill added 20 points and a pair of steals.

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