CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va - One can't simply answer the many question marks that surround this North Carolina team. To a certain degree, Coach Williams seems to be repeating the same answers and at a loss to the lack of practice translating at game time.
"It's hard to simulate that (blocking perimeter shots) in practice," Williams replied. "We don't have a four and five man on the blue team that can go out and makes all those shots as they did."
Defeating Virginia (15-3, 11-1) was a daunting task, admittedly, but not impossible; guarding the perimeter, locking down on defense, and playing inside out. Three simple yet straightforward tasks to hang with the ACC's top contender but tonight showcased North Carolina's (12-7, 7-5) worst game of the season; a season-low of only 48 points.
Virginia has won seven straight games against UNC, the Cavaliers' longest win streak in series history dating back to 1911-16. This is the fourth time in the last seven games against Virginia that UNC has scored less than 50 points.
Freshman Walker Kessler led UNC in scoring with nine points. This is the first time no Tar Heel scored in double figures since March 4th, 1966, a 21-20 loss to Duke in the ACC Tournament. Carolina's 18 points in the first half were a season-low and equaled the fewest points in any half in the Roy Williams era. Down by 17 in the opening minutes, UNC's largest deficit of the season, missing 13 of their first 15 shots.
There was some fight in the second half, but it wasn't enough to overcome a fiery Virginia. The Cavaliers finished with three players in double figures, Jay Huff (18), Sam Hauser (17), and Trey Murphy III (12).
North Carolina is once again at the mercy of time due to Tuesday Night's recent cancellation at home against Virginia Tech. The postponement follows a positive test, subsequent quarantining, and contact tracing within the Virginia Tech men's basketball program. This will be the fourth time UNC has had a cancellation due to COVID protocol, the most recent revocation at the fault of their own against Miami.
The game against Miami could be made-up due to both teams having ample time between their next match: After Tuesday's game, Miami will not play again until Saturday, February 20th. The decision boils down to convenience and travel.
North Carolina's next scheduled game will be against Louisville at home Saturday, February 20th at 6 pm.