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Dec. 23, 2003


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The Game
Virginia (2002-2003: 16-16/6-10 ACC) stands at 8-0 in the 2003-2004 season. The Cavaliers are coming off an 89-74 victory over Coastal Carolina (Dec. 22) in Charlottesville, Va. N.C. State (2002-2003: 18-13/9-7 ACC) stands at 5-2 on the season after suffering a 58-55 setback at South Carolina (Dec. 20).

The Series vs. N.C. State
N.C. State leads the overall series with Virginia 74-50 (dating back to 1912-13). The Wolfpack won the first meeting of the 2002-03 season 75-63 (Jan. 5) in Raleigh. The Cavaliers snapped a five-game losing streak to N.C. State with a 61-58 victory (Feb. 9) in Charlottesville. In the 2001-2002 season, N.C. State earned three wins over UVa – 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 winning only once in the last six meetings, the Cavaliers have won 16 of 26 contests against NCSU in the last 12 seasons. Since 1980, the Cavaliers are 33-20 in all games against the Wolfpack.

The two teams have split the regular season series five times in the last six seasons (NCSU, however, has won all three ACC Tournament matchups during the same span – 2000, 2001 and 2002. When N.C. State swept the 2001-02 regular season series, it marked the Wolfpack’s first sweep over UVa since winning both matchups (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 not found their trips to N.C. State very hospitable over the years, as they have won only 16 of 54 games all-time against the Wolfpack in Raleigh. UVa lost its first four games at the RBC Center (formerly the Entertainment and Sports Arena) – 65-62 – Jan. 12, 2000, 90-80 – Feb. 7, 2001, 85-68 – Feb. 6, 2002, and 75-63 – Jan. 5, 2003) and have lost six consecutive road games to N.C. State. UVa’s last win in Raleigh was a 55-46 triumph on February 19, 1997. Virginia was only 15-30 all-time in Reynolds Coliseum (including games in the ACC Tournament) against the Wolfpack. In games in Raleigh since 1979-80, UVa is 11-12.

Early Opener
Tonight’s ACC season-opener at N.C. State is UVa’s earliest conference opener since the 1998-99 season when the Cavaliers lost at home to Florida State (Dec. 1) 72-69. That Florida State game along with a Dec. 1, 1956 home loss to Maryland (67-63) mark UVa’s earliest ACC openers.

Virginia in ACC Openers
Virginia is 19-31 all-time in ACC season openers. UVa is 13-15 in home ACC openers and 6-16 on the road. The Cavaliers have lost their last eight 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 fourth time in 51 years, but third consecutive year, that UVa has opened the ACC season against N.C. State. In its first ACC opener against the Wolfpack, UVa lost to top-ranked N.C. State 101-72 in Raleigh on December 7, 1974. In 2001-2002, Virginia fell to the Wolfpack 81-74 in Charlottesville on January 5, 2002. Last season, UVa lost to NCSU 75-63 in Raleigh on January 5, 2003.

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, 0-3 vs. N.C. State, and 0-1 vs. Clemson all-time in ACC openers.

Lacking ACC Experience
The Cavaliers only have four active players on the roster with ACC starting experience and only one player with more than one year of conference starting experience.

Senior Todd Billet is the Cavalier with the most ACC starting experience with 16 starts, while junior Elton Brown has 12 starts over the last two years (he is the only active player with starting experience prior to last season). Junior Devin Smith and sophomore Derrick Byars both started nine ACC contests a year ago. The four players have a combined total of 46 ACC starts. Senior Majestic Mapp has played in 29 ACC contests, but has not started.

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