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UNC was jobbed by the refs in their last game at the Dean Dome, as Duke escaped with a win. Still at the bottom of the ACC, would the Tar Heels be able to deny just-barely-in-the-field UVa from a much needed win?

 

Virginia64
North Carolina62

 

 

Positive

A win is a win is a win. The Cavaliers have swept the North Carolina Tar Heels for the season, and despite this being a hugely disappointing season for UNC, any victory in Chapel Hill is a good win. And it’s the Cavs’ first sweep of UNC in 17 years.

Edit:  With this win, the Cavs have won six consecutive games vs UNC.  The last time a team won six in a row vs the Tar Heels was 1912.  And the last time Virginia won consectutive games in Chapel Hill, it was 1911.  

Positive

Tomas Woldetensae. A man-of-the-match performance for the juco transfer who has now completely sewn up the starting 2 role.  He was 6 – 10 from 3, the third time in five games that he has connected on more than 5 threes in a game. Just for comparison’s sake, Kyle Guy only connected on 5+ threes last year 9 times in a 38-game season.  Woldetensae is hunting his shot and he’s learned just how hard he has to play to curl around screens.

Oh.  And he also made this shot:

Positive

Kihei Clark.  Let's look at that play again.  Clark may possess the best vision of anyone in the collegiate game.  Heck of a pause on his drive.

Negative

Carolina Refs. A week after robbing the Tar Heels in the closing seconds against Duke, the refs did their best to aid and abet the ‘Heels this time around. At first glance, it did look like Woldetensae fouled Christian Keeling from beyond the arc. But after three and four watchings of the play, the same number the refs had available to them, it is clear that (a) Woldetensae stopped well short of Keeling, and (b) that Keeling sold the foul.  No matter.  After Keeling made all three of his free throws in a very Kyle Guy manner, Woldetensae was able to redeem himself by hitting the game winner with .8 seconds left. Rarely does a player get to so quickly vindicate himself, but Woldetensae grabbed that bull by both horns.

Positive

Casey Morsell. In 20 minutes, Morsell scored 10 points – including splashing both his 3s – had three steals and 3 boards. He was relatively aggressive going into the paint and he showed a glimmer of confidence in his play. In crunch time, he replaced Braxton Key, which has to be a major ego boost.

Negative

Jay Huff.  As I’ve written before, the advanced stats list Jay as our most efficient player, and he’s been uber-aggressive in his hedging.  Which is a crucial component of Bennett’s Pack Line.  But…  20 minutes.  4 shots.  2 points?  Bennett has been eager to play both Huff and Mamadi Diakite together in a 21st Century twin towers lineup.  It does give us superior rim protection, but Huff simply has to score more.  Plus, going large so much means that Key is playing the 3.  DeAndre Hunter could switch between the 3 and 4.  Braxton not so much.  Key and Huff have been wildly inconsistent this year.  It was maybe a given that Woldetensae, Morsell and Kody Stattmann would struggle with consistency, but when it is your senior leadership so wildly erratic, it is no wonder the team has been up and down.

Positive

The bench.  After no-showing versus Louisville, the UVa bench outplayed the UNC bench to the tune of a 17 – 0 scoring advantage, an 8 – 2 rebounding margin, and six steals to the Tar Heel bench’s goose egg.  Stattmann had four rebounds in traffic, on a night when the Cavaliers were getting punished on the boards, and he continues to drive to the rim.

Negative

The ESPN camera crew.  UNC’s Cole Anthony was sprawled on the floor, blood trickling down his forehead and the cameras stayed on Anthony for 10 seconds. As it that wasn’t enough, they showed it on replay.

Positive

The atmosphere. Greg Anthony (Cole’s father), Walter Davis, Phil Ford and recent graduates Luke Maye and Cam Johnson, were all in attendance.  UNC knew this was an important game.

Positive

Mamadi Diakite’s screens. In a two-minute span as the second half was winding down, Diakite set three of the prettiest screens you’ll see and they sprung Woldetensae and Morsell as UVa connected on a rarity: back – back 3 point conversions.  We may have lost the rebounding battle, but it wasn’t for lack of effort on Diakite’s part.

Virginia + / - Double Bonus

Positive

Louisville lost again. Since escaping with a win versus Virginia, Louisville has lost two games in a row to the decidedly mediocre Wake Forest and Clemson. Just like last year, when a blow-out to the Cavs sent Florida State reeling, Louisville is in full-blown crisis mode.  Playing UVa will do that to ya’.

Positive

Kyle Guy.