NORTH CAROLINA TAR HEELS (25-5)
at VIRGINIA CAVALIERS (19-9)
John Paul Jones Arena – Charlottesville, VA
Tip-off: Monday, 7:00 pm ET
Line: North Carolina -2.5, Total: N/A
Virginia will be looking to earn a gigantic home victory over red-hot North Carolina on Monday.
North Carolina has already clinched a share of the ACC regular season crown, and the team will now be looking to pick up an impressive road victory in Charlottesville. The Tar Heels will be feeling as confident as any team in the country on Monday, as they have won-and-covered in four straight games and just beat this same Virginia team on Feb. 18. North Carolina was a 6-point favorite at home in that one, and the Tar Heels ended up winning 65-41. They held Virginia to just 27.8% from the floor and 10.0% shooting from three in that game, and they’ll be hoping for similar effort on Monday. The Cavaliers are, however, coming off of one of their best offensive performances of the season against NC State last game. Virginia won 70-55 in that game, and the team shot 48.9% from the floor and 68.8% from three in that one. If the Cavaliers can play a decent game offensively then they should have a shot to win this game as well. One thing worth noting for North Carolina is that the team is 10-3 SU as a road favorite this season. The Tar Heels are, however, just 4-6 ATS in those contests. Virginia, meanwhile, has only been an underdog four times this season, and the Cavaliers are 2-2 SU and 3-1 ATS in those contests.
North Carolina is one of the best teams in the nation, and the Tar Heels do it on both ends of the floor. North Carolina is currently ranked inside the top 25 in both offensive efficiency and defensive efficiency. That should serve them well against a Virginia team that also plays good two-way basketball. F Justin Jackson (18.8 PPG, 4.8 RPG, 2.6 APG) is the leader of this Tar Heels team, and he has been absolutely scorching lately. Jackson has scored 20 or more in three straight games for North Carolina, and the senior is 13-for-28 from the outside in those contests. Jackson had 20 points, six assists and four rebounds against Virginia three games ago, and he’d surely take another performance like that on Monday. Fs Kennedy Meeks (12.8 PPG, 9.2 RPG, 1.0 BPG) and Isaiah Hicks (11.9 PPG, 5.6 RPG) also had success against Virginia last game, combining to score 23 points with 15 rebounds. Meeks also had three blocks in that game, and the Tar Heels will be hoping for another two-way effort from him. North Carolina will, however, need more from G Joel Berry II (14.8 PPG, 3.9 APG, 3.3 RPG, 1.4 SPG) in this one. He had just five points against Virginia last contest and must be better on Monday.
Virginia will desperately be hoping that this meeting with North Carolina goes differently than the last one. The Cavaliers were 2-for-20 from the outside in that game, and they are just not going to win if anything like that happens again. G London Parrantes (12.4 PPG, 3.9 APG) is definitely going to need to be a lot better than he was in the last meeting with the Tar Heels. He was just 3-for-10 from the floor and 1-for-6 from the outside in that game, and he is Virginia’s only consistent source of offense. Fortunately for the Cavaliers, Perrantes had 16 points and 10 assists against NC State last game. He found his stroke, and will be hoping that it carries over into this one. Gs Devon Hall (8.8 PPG, 4.4 RPG) and Kyle Guy (7.4 PPG) also got it going against NC State on Saturday. The two of them combined to score 37 points in that one, and it’d be big if they can combine to score even 25 on Monday. Both of them are capable of really getting hot, but they can’t afford to struggle together in this one.