Virginia Visits North Carolina on Saturday
CHARLOTTESVILLE-The Virginia men’s basketball team plays the first of two consecutive road games when the Cavaliers meet North Carolina in an Atlantic Coast Conference game at the Dean E. Smith Center in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Saturday (Feb. 11) at 1:00 p.m.
UVa has won four of its last five games and enters Saturday’s game with an overall record of 19-4 and a 6-3 record in the ACC. The Cavaliers are coming off a 68-44 victory over Wake Forest Wednesday night (Feb. 8) at John Paul Jones Arena.
North Carolina enters Saturday’s game with an overall record of 20-4 and a 7-2 record in the ACC. The Tar Heels are 14-1 at home this season with the lone loss coming to Duke on Wednesday (Feb. 8). The Blue Devils rallied for an 85-84 victory over the Tar Heels.
In this week’s national rankings, UVa is ranked 19th in The Associated Press poll and 20th in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches poll. North Carolina is ranked fifth in both polls. It’s the first time both teams have been nationally ranked when meeting since the 2000-01 season.
Saturday’s game will be broadcast on the Virginia Sports Radio Network. It will also be televised by the ACC Network and carried on ESPN3 except in states where there is an ACC school.
Senior forward Mike Scott made all nine of his field goal attempts and scored a game-high 19 points to lead UVa to its victory over Wake Forest. Scott’s 9-9 performance from the field tied the Virginia record for best perfect game shooting from the field which was established by Jeff Jones against UAB on March 18, 1982 and matched by Kenny Turner against Samford on Nov. 28, 1989.
Sophomore guard Joe Harris scored 11 points for Virginia and freshman guard Malcolm Brogdon, junior guard Jontel Evans and sophomore forward Akil Mitchell each scored 10 points for the Cavaliers. It’s the first time this season UVa had five players score in double figures.
Mitchell also had six rebounds and Scott had five for UVa.
The Wake Forest game marked the 10th time this season Virginia has held an opponent under 50 points.
Scott leads Virginia in scoring and rebounding. He is averaging 17.0 points and 8.3 rebounds a game, while shooting 60.3 percent (143-237) from the field and 81.0 percent (102-126) from the free-throw line. He is one of two players nationally with the NCAA minimum of attempts in both categories to be over 60 percent from the floor and 80 percent from the free-throw line this season. The other player is Doug McDermott of Creighton.
Scott ranks first among ACC players in field goal percentage, fourth in scoring, sixth in rebounding and eighth in free throw percentage.
Harris is also averaging in double figures in scoring for UVa with an average of 12.7 points a game and senior guard Sammy Zeglinski is averaging 8.5 points a game.
Junior guard Jontel Evans leads the Cavaliers in assists (85) and steals (40). He ranks fourth among ACC players in steals (1.7 spg.) and fifth in assists (3.7 apg.).
As a team, Virginia ranks first in the ACC in scoring defense (51.1), rebounding defense (27.6) and defensive rebounding percentage (76.3 percent).
Nationally the Cavaliers rank first in points allowed per possession (0.84), second in fewest assists allowed per game (7.6) and scoring defense, fourth in defensive rebounding percentage and opponents’ assist-to-turnover ratio (0.57), and 21st in field goal percentage defense (39.1 percent). Virginia has allowed points on just 43.0 percent of their opponents’ possessions this season and ranks third nationally in that department.
North Carolina leads the series with Virginia 125-49 and the Tar Heels lead 63-6 in games played in Chapel Hill, including 21-3 at the Smith Center. The teams have split the last two games in the series with each team winning on the road. North Carolina won 62-56 in Charlottesville last season and the Cavaliers won 75-60 in Chapel Hill during the 2009-10 season.
Sophomore forward Harrison Barnes leads North Carolina in scoring with an average of 17.7 points a game. Senior forward Tyler Zeller and junior forward John Henson are also averaging in double figures in scoring and are the Tar Heels’ top two rebounders. Zeller is averaging 15.6 points and 9.7 rebounds a game, while Henson is averaging 14.2 points and 10.3 rebounds a game.
Sophomore guard Kendall Marshall leads North Carolina in assists with 234, an average of 9.8 assists a game.
Roy Williams is in his ninth season as the head coach at North Carolina. His Tar Heel teams have compiled an overall record of 245-66 and won two NCAA Championships. Williams was the head coach at Kansas for 15 seasons before becoming the head coach at North Carolina. His Jayhawk teams compiled an overall record of 418-101.
After the game at North Carolina, the Cavaliers play at Clemson on Tuesday (Feb. 14). That game is scheduled to begin at 7:00 p.m. and will be televised by ESPNU.