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NCAA Basketball ACC BasketballNorth Carolina Tar HeelsVirginia Cavaliers

Preview: North Carolina at Virginia

Bob Donnan-USA Today Sports

ACC play kicks off for two teams today as North Carolina will head to the state of Virginia to take on the Virginia Cavaliers.

Both teams enter the contest at a content 10-3 record.  Carolina played a much more difficult out of conference schedule than Virginia, but that doesn’t mean the Cavaliers can’t play with the big boys.  They showed they will be able to compete this year when they knocked off Wisconsin in convincing fashion.

The Cavaliers will also have home court advantage where they are 9-1 on the young season.  Home court means so much when it comes to conference play and for teams going on the road, there is never a guaranteed win.

Virginia will look to slow down the pace of the game and not allow the Tar Heels to get out in transition and get easy baskets.  Carolina is looking for this to be a faced pace, high scoring game and Virginia wants just the opposite.

The Cavaliers will rely heavily on guard Joe Harris and forward Akil Mitchell who are the teams primary scorers.  Harris averages 15 points a game and Mitchell averages 13.2 a game.

North Carolina will be looking for a well balanced attack.  They are second in the country in assists with 19.5 a game and against UNLV they had five players in double digits.

Reggie Bullock will return to the starting lineup tonight, which just adds another lethal offensive threat from the Tar Heels.  It will also mean P.J. Hairston will be doing his damage off the bench.

Carolina is looking to get a roll and get back on track, but Virginia is looking to show people who they are and can really make a statement with a win.

Virginia actually will come into the game as a 2 point favorite which shows experts know they can win.

Tip-off is set for 8 o’clock on ESPNU.