Breaking Down The UNC Win

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Tony Bennett’s team picked up a win at UNC thanks in large part to the game plan enterin the game.

After back-to-back ACC losses, Virginia bounced back in a big way on the road at North Carolina to close out the January schedule. How did the Hoos dominate – yes, dominate – in the Dean Smith Center? Let’s take a look at the Cavaliers’ game plan and execution in the breakdown of that 75-60 win.

Revisiting The Scouting Report

In each ACC Scouting Report, I outline some keys that could determine the outcome of the game. Here are the keys for the UVa-UNC match-up:

  • Pace. Both UNC and UVa play a very specific style that fits their system. UVa likes to pack it in on defense while playing deliberate basketball on the offensive end. UVa doesn’t push the ball often or create a lot of turnovers while sending a lot of guys at the defensive glass and very few for offensive rebounds. By playing such a deliberate style, UVa is the slowest paced team in the ACC at 64 possessions a game, an entire two possessions a game below the 11th team in the league, N.C. State. On the other end of the spectrum, UNC is the sixth fastest paced team in the country at 75.5 possessions per game, which is first in the ACC by 3.6 possessions. There is very little middle ground here. UVa is going to have a hard time running with a UNC team that can go more than 10 deep and UNC is going to struggle if it is forced to operate in a halfcourt game against UVa. The magic number will be 70 possessions – anything over that number and UVa is going to need some real breaks to come out of Chapel Hill with a victory.
  • Control the defensive boards. This is another area in which there can’t be a middle ground. UVa is one of the best defensive rebounding teams in America while UNC is one of the best offensive rebounding teams. Looking at past match-ups, UVa did an excellent job against Georgia Tech’s rebounding machine and the Jackets are a top 10 unit on the offensive glass. On the other hand, UVa was able to slow Georgia Tech down, which limited some of best opportunities for offensive rebounds. Wake Forest had some success against