Thursday's UNC Links

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Carolina Basketball

North Carolina will try to stay unbeaten in the ACC and notch a landmark win in the Smith Center tonight when it plays its first home conference game of the season. Wounded but dangerous Virginia Tech will visit for a 9 p.m. game. UNC is one of only two ACC teams that are unbeaten in conference play, and needs one more home win to reach 300 victories in the Smith Center. UNC is 7-0 at home this season, and has improved to 299-56 in the Smith Center since it opened on Jan.?18, 1986. The 355 games there are the most of any of its home buildings.
UNC has milestone victory in sight
The Winston-Salem Journal

North Carolina coach Roy Williams has said he's tired of talking about last season, but after one ACC game the Tar Heels' coach said he's already seen something from this year's squad that lacked at times in 2009-10 -- toughness. The Tar Heels rallied from an 11-point second half deficit against Virginia on Saturday to escape Charlottesville with an ugly win in its ACC opener. What remains to be seen, however, is if UNC can maintain that toughness as it kicks off a stretch of three games in six days when it hosts Virginia Tech tonight (9 p.m., ESPN) in its ACC home opener.
Tar Heels looking tougher
The Durham Herald-Sun

More of that intangible toughness might be needed Thursday night against Virginia Tech, which arrives with a six-game winning streak for the Atlantic Coast Conference meeting.
Tar Heels meet Virginia Tech, hope to tap into toughness
The Burlington Times-News

Before the season, Tyler Zeller was not the most acclaimed member of the North Carolina men's basketball team. Freshman Harrison Barnes was crowned a preseason All-American by The Associated Press. John Henson was named the nation's top power forward by Lindy's preview magazine. But after two injury-plagued seasons, Zeller has emerged as the Tar Heels' leading scorer. The 7-foot, 250-pound junior center will pose plenty of problems for Virginia Tech when the Hokies visit UNC (11-4, 1-0) tonight.
UNC center standing tall in new role
The Roanoke Times

Almost three months later, Marshall, a 2010 All-Met who starred at Bishop O'Connell, hasn't gotten any faster. But he's still turning heads around Chapel Hill with his vision and playmaking skills, dishing out a team-high 4.1 assists per game while averaging just 15 minutes of playing time through 15 games. And it's his ability to speed up North Carolina - a program that has thrived on the fast break over the years - that worries Virginia Tech Coach Seth Greenberg most as the Hokies (10-4, 1-1 ACC) get set to visit the Tar Heels on Thursday night riding a six-game win streak.
Marshall blends in well at UNC
The Washington Post

Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg says he doesn't talk to his team about everything it's missing but instead how it's going to win with what it has. So far, that has been a pretty good strategy. The Hokies (10-4, 1-1 ACC), who are down to eight healthy scholarship players, bring a six-game winning streak tonight to the Smith Center, where they will face North Carolina (11-4, 1-0).
Hokies finding their way
The News and Observer

Seth Greenberg's basketball laboratory moves a couple of hours south to Chapel Hill on Thursday for one of the biggest challenges, literally, Virginia Tech will face this season. The depleted, yet resourceful, Hokies have won six in a row — most recently an impressive 71-59 decision against Florida State in which they played zone defense the entire 40 minutes for the first time in Greenberg's coaching career. The uncommon becomes viable when a roster is pared to just eight scholarship players and whose tallest player stands 6-foot-8.
Resourceful Virginia Tech seeks new answers against tall, talented North Carolina
The Hampton Daily Press

Greenberg will have to pull out the stops tonight if Tech hopes to beat ultra-talented North Carolina at the Dean E. Smith Center. Tipoff is 9 p.m., and the game will be televised nationally by ESPN.
Hokies limited depth poses challenges on defense
The Charlottesville Daily Progress

The very suggestion of trying to mimic Tyler Zeller in practice made Coach Seth Greenberg of Virginia Tech laugh, as if it were as preposterous as Greenberg's bald head suddenly sprouting a bleach-blonde mullet.
Zeller presents tall challenge for Davila
The Richmond Times-Dispatch

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