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Off the cuff: North Carolina struggled offensively, particularly in the second half, but Virginia was solid - offensively and defensively.

When the Cavs shoot well, which they did at 53 percent, it is difficult to beat them. They play tough defensively, holding all but five opponents to fewer than 60 points.

Virginia, the Saturday loss to Duke not withstanding, is the best team in the league. The Tar Heels aren't healthy right now. In addition to five guys out with injuries, Kennedy Meeks has some sort of bug, Nate Britt is recovering from a blow to the head and Marcus Paige continues to play with a bad ankle. Not the best of times to play the best team in the league.

UNC coach Roy Williams wants his Tar Heels to play with more urgency than the other team. That would have been a tall order anyway with the previously undefeated Cavs coming off a disappointing late-game loss to Duke.

Virginia 75, Tar Heels 64
Carolina lays an egg in the 2nd half

After leading the No. 2 team in the nation at halftime, North Carolina went cold and a tactical, deliberate Virginia team whipped the Tar Heels 75-64 in Chapel Hill.(2/2)

The Cavaliers moved to 7-65 in Chapel Hill over the years as the Tar Heels lost their second game in a row for the first time this season.

Both teams were coming off tough losses to ranked opponents but it was Virginia that bounced back with a near perfect second half.

Ahead just 48-44, the Cavs went on a 9-0 over three minutes to seize control of the game at 57-44 with 8:40 to go.

It was a tough three minutes for Carolina's Kennedy Meeks, who had a temperature of 101 earlier in the day and was pushing fluids. First Anthony Gill, who had 13 points off the bench for UVA, simply yanked the ball away from Meeks and scored his fourth point of the run. Less than a minute later Meeks turned the ball over.

Malcolm Brodgon, who led the Cavs with 17 points, ended the run with a three pointer over the arms of Meeks.

"Two of those baskets (during the 9-0 run) were offensive rebounds," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "I despise that more than anything."

The Cavs got the lead up to 18 at 66-48 with 3:42 left as the stands started emptying.

The Heels got it to nine twice in the last two minutes on threes by Marcus Paige but could get no closer.

After shooting 54 percent in the first half, the Heels managed only 38 percent in the second half - at one point going just seven of 22 before Paige got hot at the end.

Paige, who led the Tar Heels with 15 points, had only five points until the last 2:22 of the game.

Carolina led 14-8 early before the back-and-forth first half ended on a Meeks tip at the buzzer that gave the Heels a 33-32 lead at the half.

But the tide changed in the second half as the Heels went cold and switched a points-in-the-paint advantage to a deficit as Virginia scored 40 points in the paint compared to 34 for Carolina.

The banged up Tar Heels didn't have much time to prepare after losing to Louisville Saturday. The Heels used JV players and at least one former player in order to be able to scrimmage Sunday.

As a result, the Heels didn't handle Virginia's defense very well as they turned the ball over 13 times, resulting in 18 Cavalier points. Meanwhile, Carolina turned eight UVA turnovers in eight points.

The Tar Heels, now 17-6 overall, had a chance to tie for the conference lead but instead fell to fourth with a 7-3 conference mark.

Meanwhile the Cavaliers, now 20-1, stayed in first with an 8-1 ACC mark.


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