Cavaliers Host No. 14 Michigan In Big Ten/ACC Challenge On Tuesday
CHARLOTTESVILLE-The Virginia men’s basketball team plays its first ranked opponent of the season on Tuesday (Nov. 29) when the Cavaliers host No. 14 Michigan at John Paul Jones Arena in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge. Both teams are 5-1 entering the game.
Michigan is the highest ranked non-conference opponent to visit Charlottesville since No. 10 Arizona in the first game at John Paul Jones Arena on Nov. 12, 2006.
Tuesday’s game is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. It will be broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network and will be televised by ESPN2.
Former Virginia standout Ralph Sampson, who was recently inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame, will be recognized at halftime of Tuesday’s game.
Sampson was inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame on Nov. 20 in Kansas City, Mo. He is the first Virginia player to be inducted into the National Collegiate Basketball Hall of Fame.
Single-game tickets for the Virginia-Michigan game are available and can be purchased online at VirginiaSports.com/tickets. Tickets may also be purchased on game day at the JPJA box office starting at 5:30 p.m.
Fans may also purchase tickets for the Virginia-Michigan game through the Virginia Athletics Ticket Office by telephone and in person. The Athletics Ticket Office is located in Bryant Hall at Scott Stadium and open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m. Telephone purchases can be made by calling 1-800-542-UVA1 (8821) or locally at 434-924-UVA1 (8821).
Tuesday’s game will be the first meeting between Virginia and Michigan in the Big Ten/ACC Challenge and the fourth meeting overall. Michigan leads the series with the Cavaliers 2-1.
The teams have not met since the 1989 NCAA Tournament when the Wolverines defeated Virginia 102-65 in the finals of the Southeast Regional. Michigan went on to win the national championship that season.
Prior to meeting in the 1989 NCAA Tournament, UVa lost to Michigan 66-52 during the 1951-52 season and the Cavaliers defeated the Wolverines 79-68 in Charlottesville in the 1980 National Invitation Tournament (NIT). Virginia went on to win the 1980 NIT.
Virginia won 87-79 at Minnesota in last season’s Big Ten/ACC Challenge, while Michigan won 69-61 at Clemson. The Cavaliers have a 6-5 record in the Challenge and Michigan is 4-6.
UVa has won its last three games this season including a 68-42 victory over Green Bay at JPJA on Friday (Nov. 25). Senior forward Mike Scott had his second double-double of the season for the Cavaliers in that game with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and sophomore guard KT Harrell added a season-high 14 points for Virginia.
The Cavaliers continue to play solid defense. UVa is currently ranked first in scoring defense (45.3 ppg.) and field goal percentage defense (33.5 percent, 94-281) among Atlantic Coast Conference teams through games of Nov. 27.
Virginia has held each of its first six opponents under 60 points, the first time the Cavaliers have done that since the beginning of the 1948-49 season. UVa has held four of its first six opponents under 50 points, a feat it has accomplished 11 times with Tony Bennett as head coach.
Individually Scott continues to lead the Cavaliers with averages of 14.8 points and 10.0 rebounds a game. Scott is shooting 52.6 percent (30-57) from the field and 75.7 percent (28-37) from the free-throw line.
Scott ranks tied for second among ACC players in rebounding, third in field goal percentage and eighth in scoring through games of Nov. 27. He is currently ranked tied for fourth on UVa’s career list for double-doubles with 26, 10th on the career list for rebounds (739) and 40th on the career list for points scored (1,052).
Sophomore guard Joe Harris is the only other Virginia player averaging in double figures in scoring with an average of 11.7 points a game. Harris is shooting 91.3 percent (21-23) from the free-throw line, which ranks third among ACC players through games of Nov. 27.
Five other UVa players are averaging between 7.7 and 5.0 points a game, including Harrell (7.7 ppg.), senior center Assane Sene (6.8 ppg.), junior guard Jontel Evans (6.0 ppg.), freshman guard Malcolm Brogdon (5.8 ppg.) and senior guard Sammy Zeglinski (5.0 ppg.).
Michigan will be playing for the first time since winning two of three games in the EA Sports Maui Invitational last week (Nov. 21-23). The Wolverines defeated then No. 10 Memphis (73-61), lost to then No. 6 Duke (82-75) and defeated UCLA (79-63).
Michigan is led in scoring by sophomore guard Tim Hardaway, Jr., and freshman guard Trey Burke. Hardaway is averaging17.2 points, 3.5 rebounds and 3.0 assists a game. Burke is averaging 11.0 points, 3.0 rebounds and 4.2 assists a game. Senior guard Zack Novak is averaging 9.8 points and 4.0 rebounds a game, and sophomore forward Evan Smotrycz is the Wolverines’ leading rebounder with an average of 5.0 rebounds a game. Smotrycz is averaging 8.2 points a game.
John Beilein is in his fifth season as men’s head basketball coach at Michigan. His Michigan teams have compiled an overall record of 72-68 and participated in two NCAA Tournaments. Beilein is in his 20th season as an NCAA Division I head coach and his 34th season as a collegiate head coach. His previous Division I head coaching positions include West Virginia, Richmond and Canisius.
After the game with Michigan, Virginia returns to action on Saturday (Dec. 3) when the Cavaliers host Longwood at John Paul Jones Arena. That game is scheduled to begin at 1 p.m.