North Carolina (23-5, 12-3 ACC) vs. Virginia (21-6, 10-5 ACC)
Charlottesville, Va. – John Paul Jones Arena
Saturday, 6:30 p.m.
ESPN (Dan Shulman, Jay Bilas, Shannon Spake)
“There are games where we’re prone to giving up offensive rebounds, but when we get the defensive rebound, we’re pretty much lethal on the break, so whichever of those things gives will be a big teller for the game.” – UNC guard Marcus Paige
“When you lose a big game, you have another big game waiting for you in the next couple of days. We can redeem ourselves.” – Virginia senior guard Malcolm Brogdon after his team’s loss to Miami on Monday
Season to Date: Virginia enters Saturday’s contest with a 21-6 (10-5 ACC) record. After an early 73-68 loss at George Washington, the Cavaliers reeled off 11 straight victories, including resume builders against No. 1 Villanova and West Virginia. Tony Bennett’s squad lost three of five to open ACC play, but has since won eight of its last 10 to contend for the regular season title and a double-bye in the ACC Tournament. Virginia is 63-5 at home the last four seasons, including a 13-0 record in 2015-16.
Brogdon Contending for ACC POY: Not only is Malcolm Brogdon on pace to become the first Cavalier to lead the team in scoring for three straight seasons since Sean Singletary (2006-08), but he’s also all but secured of becoming the first Cavalier since Singletary to be a three-time All-ACC first-team selection. The senior guard is averaging 19.9 points in ACC play and leads the league in offensive efficiency rating (119.8) for players used in at least 28 percent of his team’s possessions, according to kenpom.com. He’s also on track to earn a selection to the ACC All-Defensive Team.
Offensively Efficient: Virginia ranks 11th nationally in adjusted offensive efficiency (117.7), according to kenpom.com, its highest mark since Bennett took over in 2009-10. The Cavaliers rank seventh nationally in assist-turnover ratio (1.56), eighth in field goal percentage (49.4), 11th in 3-point field goal percentage (40.2) and 18th in free throw shooting (75.2). Virginia’s field goal percentage is on pace to become the best since a 49.6 percent effort during the 1986-87 season. The 40.2 3-point field goal percentage is on track to be the best in school history.
Post Option: High Point, N.C. product Anthony Gill has been a model of consistency in his senior season, scoring in double figures in 24 of his 27 games. He’s second on the team in scoring (13.6) and leads the Cavaliers with 6.0 rebounds per game. His 56.2 field goal percentage ranks second in the ACC, trailing only UNC’s Brice Johnson.
Bombs Away: Junior point guard London Perrantes is blistering the nets from deep with a 52.5 shooting percentage from 3-point range. The Los Angeles native ranks third nationally from beyond the arc and has made three or more 3-pointers in nine games. Perrantes is shooting 55 percent from 3-point range (11-for-20) over his last four home games.
Still Locking Down: While Virginia’s offensive success has earned most of the headlines this season, the Cavaliers are still playing strong defense with their pack-line approach. Bennett’s squad ranks fourth in the ACC in field goal percentage defense (41.8) and leads the league in defensive rebounding percentage (.746). Nationally, Virginia ranks ninth in adjusted defensive efficiency (92.7), according to kenpom.com.
Last Meeting: The Tar Heels defeated the Cavaliers, 71-67, in the ACC Tournament semifinals at the Greensboro Coliseum on March 13, 2015. Justin Jackson led UNC with 22 points on 8-of-10 shooting, while Marcus Paige added 14 points and Brice Johnson scored 13 points. UNC led by as many as 13 points in the second half before the Cavaliers to pull within one point with 1:20 to play behind Brogdon’s 25 points.
Series History: UNC leads the all-time series, 129-52. The Tar Heels have won six of the last 10 meetings.
32 London Perrantes (6-2, 192, Jr.) – 11.2 ppg, 4.4 apg
15 Malcolm Brogdon (6-5, 215, Sr.) - 18.2 ppg, 4.2 rpg
0 Devon Hall (6-5, 209, So.) - 4.2 ppg, 2.4 rpg
13 Anthony Gill (6-8, 230, Sr.) - 13.6 ppg, 6.0 rpg
21 Isaiah Wilkins (6-7, 230, So.) – 4.7 ppg, 4.1 rpg
10 Mike Tobey (7-0, 260, Sr.) - 7.0 ppg, 3.9 rpg
04 Marial Shayok (6-5, 213, So.) - 3.8 ppg, 5.6 rpg
51 Darius Thompson (6-4, 196, So.) – 4.9 ppg, 1.5 rpg