CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. – The Virginia Cavaliers (12-4) and the North Carolina Tar Heels (13-2) meet on Saturday in the semifinal round of the 2021 NCAA Tournament at Rentschler Field in East Hartford, Conn. The ACC foes are facing each other for the third time this season and for the first time in the NCAA Tournament since the 1994 NCAA Quarterfinals in Chapel Hill. Faceoff is set for noon. UVA is ranked No. 5 in this week’s USILA coaches poll and Inside Lacrosse media poll. North Carolina is No. 2 in the coaches poll and No. 1 in the media poll.
UVA, an at-large selection, is the No. 4 national seed. The Cavaliers advanced to their 24th Championship Weekend with a 14-3 win over No. 5 seed Georgetown in the quarterfinal round. North Carolina also earned an at-large bid and is the No. 1 national seed. The Tar Heels advanced to their 14th Championship Weekend with a 12-11 overtime win against Rutgers.
HOW TO FOLLOW
Live stats will be available at VirginiaSports.com. The game will be televised live on ESPN2. Anish Shroff will call the play-by-play, while Paul Carcaterra and Quint Kessenich will provide analysis. ESPN2 will also simulcast the broadcast on the WatchESPN app, or by logging onto ESPN.com/watch. There will be a live radio broadcast in the Charlottesville area on WINA 1070 AM and 98.9 FM. Luke Neer will provide the play-by-play and Doug Tarring will add analysis.
• UVA is No. 12 in the nation in caused turnovers per game (9.00), No. 2 in the nation in opponent clearing percentage (.786) and No. 1 in the nation in ground balls per game (42.19)
• FO Petey LaSalla is No. 9 in the nation with 7.56 ground balls per game and No. 10 in faceoff winning percentage with a 63.4 percent success rate.
• Payton Cormier leads UVA with 40 goals in 16 games. He had 12 goals in UVA’s six games in 2020. Cormier also has at least two goals in 15 of his 22 career games. Cormier is No. 10 in the nation with 40 goals.
• Connor Shellenberger leads the nation’s freshmen with 67 points, which ranks No. 8 in the country overall. Shellenberger is also No. 9 in the nation with 36 assists.
• Kyle Kology is No. 8 in the nation with 23 caused turnovers.
UVA IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
• UVA is 54-33 all-time in the NCAA Tournament.
• UVA is 10-13 all-time in the semifinal round of the NCAA Tournament.
• UVA is making its 40th appearance in the NCAA Tournament and fourth as the No. 4 seed.
• UVA is 6-4 all-time as the tournament’s No. 4 seed, including reaching Championship Weekend in 2005.
• UVA is 2-2 against UNC in the NCAA Tournament, including beating the Tar Heels in the 1980 and 1994.
• Virginia is 6-4 against teams in the 2021 NCAA Tournament field.
• Saturday marks the 87th all-time meeting between the Cavaliers and Tar Heels, a series the Cavaliers own a 54-32 advantage in since 1938. UVA faced the Tar Heels every year from 1964-2019 until the pandemic shutdown the 2020 season.
• After winning 19-of-21 meetings dating back to 1997, UVA dropped four straight against UNC until beating them 13-11 at the ACC Showcase Game in April 2014. UNC’s four-game winning streak was the longest in the series for the Tar Heels since winning four straight during the 1990-92 seasons.
• After losing seven of eight meetings with the Tar Heels (2012-17), UVA has won the four of the past five games with UNC. The last meeting was on April 10 at Dorrance Field when then-No. 4 UVA won, 18-16 at then-No. 3 UNC.
• Joe Breschi is in his 13th season at UNC and is coming off a 7-0 season in 2020 before the pandemic shutdown everything. The ACC Coach of the Year led UNC to the 2021 ACC title.
• Chris Gray leads UNC with 86 points on 46 goals and 40 assists. William Perry is second on the team with 28 goals and 43 points. Nicky Solomon also has 43 points on 23 goals and 20 assists. Justin Anderson (25-6), Tanner Cook (22-9) and Jacob Kelly 20-11) round out the top UNC scorers with 31 points.
• Collin Krieg is saving 54.3 percent of shots between the pipes and posting a 10.12 goals against average.
With a win, UVA will advance to the NCAA title game against the winner of Saturday’s game between Duke (No. 2 seed) and Maryland (No. 3 seed). The final matchup will be played at 1 p.m. at Rentschler Field. The finals will be broadcast on ESPN2.