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Duke v North Carolina

Source: Peyton Williams / Getty

by Sharon Thorsland

One down, three to go. North Carolina beat Boston College last night in impressive fashion at the ACC Tournament, setting up tonight’s matchup with Virginia in the quarterfinals. It will be the third time the teams have faced off this season – the Cavaliers won the first matchup while the Tar Heels prevailed in Chapel Hill nearly two weeks ago. Tip-off is set for 7:00 on WBT.


A big key in this one will be the health of Armando Bacot. The UNC big man twisted his ankle last night but returned to the game, although he looked a little gimpy. Bacot said after the game that he will play tonight, but will he be effective? With Bacot in the lineup the Heels have a definite height advantage – the Cavaliers leading rebounder is 6’6 forward Jaylen Gardner. Bacot was injured in the loss to UVA, so was Pete Nance. In the second game Bacot had 11 points and six rebounds, while Nance went off for 22 points, including four 3-pointers.


The Tar Heels also need to make 3’s, something they did last night and against Virginia in Chapel Hill. When UNC has the inside and outside game working they are tough to beat. The Cavaliers boast the ACC”s Defensive Player of the Year in Reece Beekman, who can lock down opponents on the perimeter. But RJ Davis has played well against Virginia this season and had 18 points last night. Virginia has struggled to score late in the season, they averaged just 61.4 points over their last five games. Armaan Franklin is their best offensive threat but he averaging just 12 points a game.


North Carolina needs a win tonight to stay alive for the NCAA Tournament, and history is on Carolina’s side in this one. The Tar Heels beat Virginia by 20 in last year’s ACC Tournament, and they’re 14-4 against UVA all-time in the event, including 6-0 in Greensboro. I say they make it 7-0 tonight. Go Tar Heels.