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Off the cuff: Saturday's game vs. Virginia was another of those games where I yearn for CD Chesley or even Rick Ray. By that I mean that ESPN treats the game like any other in the country. Specifically, they didn't show the halftime ceremonies honoring Brice Johnson and Marcus Paige (after all, they had to discuss something like Connecticut women's basketball instead).

The old ACC Networks covered the game from beginning to end, and then interviewed coaches and/or players after the game. ESPN rushes away to Sportscenter.

On top of all that, ESPN missed the first four minutes of game action because the Kentucky-Georgia game ran long. They ran across the bottom of the screen that the start of the game could be seen on the ESPN App or WatchESPN. Neither was true. It wasn't there.

Instead, the start of the UNC-UVA game was on ESPN News, which they didn't alert the viewer to until the game had already started. If the ACC wants the big bucks from ESPN, I guess those things are going to happen but why not also have the ACC Network available for ACC-area viewers? It seems to happen with the UNC-Duke game but why not others?

As for the game, Virginia got some open shots but Carolina played well enough to win regardless. Unfortunately, Joel Berry continues to struggle as he had only five points and three assists. As the guard, if you're not going to score a lot, you need to at least lead the team in assists.

Justin Jackson led the team with 20 points and led the team with six assists.

Tar Heels 65, Virginia 41
Carolina has little trouble with Cavs

North Carolina figured to have its hands full against a defensive-minded Virginia team that is desperate to stay near the top of the ACC standings but the Tar Heels had little trouble taking care of the cold-shooting Cavaliers 65-41. (2/18)

Despite noting that the Heels played pretty well defensively, UNC coach Roy Williams said he'd never seen the Cavaliers miss that many shots. Virginia missed its first 17 three-pointers and finished just two of 20 even though the Cavs are one of the best three-point shooting teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference.

The 41 points were the fewest a Virginia team had scored against a Carolina team since 1947 when the Tar Heels defeated the Cavs 63-38 in Woolen Gym.

"We had a sense of urgency defensive," Coach Williams said. "(but) not as good as the statistics look."

Virginia shot just 27.8 percent for the game compared to 46.7 percent for Carolina. Plus, the Heels outrebounded the Cavs 44-26.

The game actually went back and forth through the first eight minutes but the Cavs had no answer for UNC's Justin Jackson, who tallied 18 of his game-high 20 points in the first half on four three-pointers to put Carolina up 34-22 at the half.

"We were active offensively," Coach Williams said. "We tried to move it. Justin was our whole offense (though) in the first half."

In the second half, Virginia's shooting woes continued while the Tar Heels got the ball down low better. Big men Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks scored eight of the Tar Heels first 10 points in the second half as they rushed out to a 44-27 lead.

A 12-2 run, soon thereafter, put the game basically out of reach at 56-31. A couple of nice assists from Jackson to Hicks and Meeks highlighted the run. A nifty scoop shot by Theo Pinson closed that run.

The lead got as high as 27 before the Heels settled for the 24-point win.

In addition to Jackson's 20, Meeks scored 13 and Hicks scored 10 to round out the double-figure scoring.

The Tar Heels, who move to 23-5 and 11-3 in the ACC, remain atop the league standings and play Louisville Wednesday. Virginia falls to 18-8 and 8-6 in the conference.

Box Score

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