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Feb. 8, 2003


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The GameVirginia stands at 13-7 overall and 4-4 in the Atlantic Coast Conference in 2002-2003. The Cavaliers are coming off an 86-78 victory over eighth-ranked Maryland (Feb. 6) at Comcast Center in College Park, Md. N.C. State stands at 12-6 overall and 5-3 in the ACC this season. In its last game, the Wolfpack lost to 14th-ranked Wake Forest 73-58 (Feb. 6) in Winston-Salem, N.C.

The Series vs. N.C. State
N.C. State leads the overall series with Virginia 74-49 (dating back to 1912-13), including a 75-63 victory (Jan. 5) over the Cavaliers in the first meeting of the 2002-2003 season. N.C. State has won five consecutive meetings in the series. In addition to the win earlier this season, the Wolfpack earned three wins in the 2001-2002 season. NCSU won 81-74 (Jan. 5) in Charlottesville, 85-68 (Feb. 6) in Raleigh, and 92-72 (Mar. 8) in the quarterfinals of the ACC Tournament in Charlotte. Despite the last five losses, the Cavaliers have won 15 of 25 contests against NCSU in the last 12 seasons. Since 1980, the Cavaliers are 32-20 in all games against the Wolfpack.

N.C. State’s current five-game winning streak (and six of the last seven) over Virginia began with a 90-80 victory (Feb. 7) in Raleigh in the second meeting of the 2000-2001 season. The Cavaliers’ last win in the series was an 88-81 triumph (Jan. 6) in Charlottesville in the 2000-2001 season.

The two teams had split the regular season series four consecutive seasons before N.C. State swept the series last 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.

The Cavaliers have won 22 of the last 25 games between the two teams at University Hall. UVa had its 13-game home winning streak over the Wolfpack snapped last season (81-74 – Jan. 5). State’s previous two wins in Charlottesville during that stretch came in 1985 and 1988 by a combined margin of three points.

Virginia is 24-12 against the Wolfpack at University Hall and 30-21 in Charlottesville.

Defeating The National Champion
For the second consecutive year, the Cavaliers have defeated the defending national champion. In 2001, Duke won the national title and UVa beat the Blue Devils the following season (87-84 – Feb. 28, 2002) at home. This year, Virginia defeated 2002 NCAA champion Maryland (86-78 – Feb. 6) in College Park, Md.

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 57 games have been decided by less than 10 points. UVa is 26-12 (.684) in those games.

Virginia’s last eight wins (going back seven 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 90 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, eight of the last 10 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, 85-68, 92-72 in 2002, and 75-63 in 2003. The exceptions were a 65-62 Wolfpack win on Jan. 12, 2000, and an 81-74 win on Jan. 5, 2002.

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 13 years and one of the keys to the Cavaliers’ success is field goal percentage defense. Since the 1989-90 season, Virginia has won 17 of 29 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 12 victories, they have shot 51.3 percent from the floor, including 61.0 percent (25-41) in the 2000 ACC Tournament (Mar. 10) and 60.4 percent (29-48) in the 2002 ACC Tournament (Mar. 8). The lowest NCSU has shot in a victory over the Cavaliers since 1989-90 was 46.9 percent (23-49) in a 75-63 win (Jan. 5) in Raleigh earlier this season.

The Wolfpack shot 44.5 percent from the field and averaged 71.7 points per game against Virginia over the last 14 seasons. In wins over UVa, N.C. State has shot 52.2 percent from the floor and averaged 79.5 points, compared to 39.8 percent shooting and 66.2 points per game in losses to Virginia.

In the last seven meetings (six NCSU wins), N.C. State shot 54.9 percent (192-350) from the field, including a trio of 60+ percent contests. Only twice in the last seven games have the Cavaliers held N.C. State under 50 percent shooting – 49.1 percent (28-57) and 46.9 percent (23-49).

Earlier This Season Vs. N.C. State
Virginia fell to N.C. State 75-63 (Jan. 5) in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for both teams in Raleigh, N.C. The Wolfpack made nine three-pointers, including several timely threes, in the game to pull out the victory.

Senior forward/center Travis Watson registered his sixth double-double of the season with 10 points and 12 rebounds to lead UVa. Sophomore guard/forward Devin Smith led the Cavaliers in scoring with 14 points off the bench. Junior guard Todd Billet added 10 points, while sophomore forward Elton Brown tallied nine points and seven rebounds.

After falling behind by as many as nine points (15-6) with 14:56 to play in the first half, the Cavaliers went on a 13-2 run to grab a 19-17 lead. Watson capped off the run with a layup at the 7:33 mark. N.C. State scored the final seven points of the half to take a 29-24 lead at the intermission.

The Wolfpack shot 52 percent (13-25) from the field in the second half and also converted 17 of 23 (73.9 percent) of their free throws to outscore UVa 46-39 in the second half.

N.C. State shot 46.9 percent (23-49) from the floor in the game, while the Cavaliers only made 26 of 65 (40.0 percent) attempts from the floor. The Wolfpack made 20 of 27 free throw attempts (74.1 percent) in the game, while UVa was seven of 12 (58.3 percent) from the foul line. Virginia held a 39-33 advantage in rebounds.

Julius Hodge led N.C. State with 21 points and 11 rebounds. Clifford Crawford added 14 points.

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