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Off the cuff: UNC coach Roy Williams says his team is pretty doggone good but not as good as Virginia, at least on this night. They are a pretty inconsistent team with players who are underachieving.

The one that is achieving - Brice Johnson - only got nine shots. He turned the ball over five times. UVA did a good job harrassing Johnson when he got the ball in the block but someone else has to step up.

When Justin Jackson, who also shot nine times, got in foul trouble in the first half, Theo Pinson was called on to fill in. He did virtually nothing. He's had good games lately but, again, he's not consistent.

Kennedy Meeks was just three of six in 19 minutes. And Marcus Paige's struggles continue as he was just four of 13 from the field.

Monday night is Paige's last chance at home to show the promise he had this season as the Heels play Syracuse on Senior Night. It's also Johnson's last home game and Joel James' last home game. James played just one minute against Virginia.d


Virginia 79, Tar Heels 74
Big Virginia run stops Carolina

Virginia broke a second half tie with a 16-5 run from which North Carolina could not recover as the Cavs topped the Tar Heels 79-74 in Charlottesville. (2/27)

The Cavaliers remained undefeated at home on the season and pulled within a game of the Tar Heels in the ACC standings. Malcolm Brogdon scored 26 to lead Virginia while Anthony Gil scored six straight during the deciding run and finished with 15 points.

UNC coach Roy Williams said that the Tar Heels were reacting to the Cavaliers the whole game. "The biggest factor in the game to me was that they played with a high level of intensity on offensive and defense," he said.

Joel Berry was able to keep the Tar Heels in it with a career-high 21 points, which included five three pointers.

Carolina trailed by as much as eight points in the first half and were down 38-35 at the break. The Heels tied it at 45-all on a spinning dunk with 15:47 to go. Unable to take a lead, UNC tied it again at 49-all with a Berry bucket in the lane with 13:44 to go.

That's when Virginia went on the game-changing 16-5 run to make it 65-54. Carolina chipped away, getting the margin down to five four different times but couldn't get it to a one-possession game until there were just 15 seconds left, when Marcus Paige hit a three to make it 77-74.

The Tar Heels had a chance to get it to one possession with 1:45 left and trailing 71-66 but Brice Johnson missed the front end of a one-and-one. In the last few minutes, the Heels missed four free throws, two of which were the front end of one-and-ones.

The Cavaliers were able to keep the ball out of Johnson's hands most of the night. Johnson, who is the Heels leading scorer and rebounder, was a mere five of nine for 12 points. "We got to get him more than nine shots," Coach Williams said.

The Heels also have to shoot better from the foul line where they were just seven of 13 while Virginia was 18 of 21 after hitting its first 14 free throws.

While the Tar Heels had a better field goal percentage (49 to 44) and outrebounded the Cavs (36-33), they turned the ball over five more times, scored 11 fewer points from the foul line and gave up four more second chance points.

Virginia improves to 22-6 overall and 11-5 in the ACC while UNC falls to 23-6 overall and 12-4 in the league.

The Tar Heels return home Monday night for a Senior Night game against Syracuse.


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