By Jeff White
CHARLOTTESVILLE — John Paul Jones Arena should be jumping Saturday afternoon.
For the first time this season, UVa has sold out a basketball game at JPJ, whose official capacity is 14,593. Tickets are gone for the men’s game between ACC rivals Virginia and North Carolina, the University announced Wednesday.
The noon game will be the conference home opener for the Wahoos (1-0, 10-5). UVa beat Virginia Tech 57-54 in Blacksburg on Dec. 5. UNC (10-4) has yet to play an ACC game.
Tickets are available for the other home games left on Virginia’s schedule, but that may not be the case for long.
Only about 500 tickets remain for UVa’s Feb. 16 clash with defending NCAA champion Duke. Three days later, the ‘Hoos host the Hokies at JPJ, and around 1,000 tickets are still available for that game.
Second-year coach Tony Bennett’s team has played nine games at JPJ this season. The average attendance is 8,890, with a high of 10,049 for LSU’s visit last weekend. Virginia won that game and, after hammering Howard on Tuesday night, is 7-2 at home this season.
The spring semester begins Jan. 19 at UVa, which means the team’s final seven home conference games will be played with the full student body on Grounds.
For the UNC game, 1,500 tickets were set aside for students. About 1,200 have been distributed, said Corbin Hunt, UVa’s associate athletics director of ticket sales and operations.
The Cavaliers’ remaining home games for men’s basketball:
* Jan. 8 vs. UNC, noon (sold out)
* Jan. 22 vs. Georgia Tech, noon
* Jan. 27 vs. Maryland, 7 p.m.
* Feb. 2 vs. Clemson, 9 p.m.
* Feb. 16, Duke, 7 p.m.
* Feb. 19, Virginia Tech, 1 p.m.
* Feb. 26, Boston College, noon
* March 1, NC State, 7 p.m.
For information about tickets, visit www.VirginiaSports.com or call (800) 542-8821.