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Off the cuff: Three things stood out to me during the Tar Heels loss at Virginia.

First, the Cavaliers forced North Carolina into three shot-clock violations. You just don't see that happen to a Carolina team. Maybe good defense does trump a good offense. But Carolina's offense isn't that good right now.

Second, Virginia doesn't score a lot but the Cavs got 15 points off 10 Carolina turnovers in the first half as they got out to a nine-point lead and held what seemed like a commanding seven-point advantage at the half.

Third, coming off a loss at Florida State, I thought Carolina would have played with more aggression and desire. As it turns out, Carolina really needed to pull off the win in Florida State because it never really looked like Virginia was going to lose that game to the Tar Heels.

Virginia 61, Tar Heels 49
Cavs' defense holds Heels, forces errors

Virginia is known for its defense and North Carolina found out all about it as the No. 8 Cavs scored 25 points on 19 Tar Heel turnovers to defeat No. 12 Carolina 61-49 in Charlottesville. (01/06)

The Cavaliers' defense also held the Tar Heels to 29.6 percent shooting as Virginia took the lead midway through the first half and never trailed again.

UVA worked the lead up to double digits before UNC's Joel Berry buried a pair of threes to draw the Heels within five at 47-42 with 11:25 left. It never got closer as the Cavs outscored the Heels 6-0 and worked the lead up to 13 before settling for the 12-point victory.

“It was a big ‘ole butt kicking, that's all it was," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "We just act like we've never been coached so that falls onto me. I've got to do a better job of coaching this team. There's not a heck of a lot more to say.”

Freshman Andrew Platek said that Coach Williams always takes the blame but the team knows better. "We've just got to play better as a team," Platek said. "We just have to do a better job of taking care of the ball. If we have half the turnovers that we did, we are right there in the game. We had three straight possessions in the first half where we turned it over in the halfcourt and they got fast break points."

For the second time in a row, the Tar Heels fell behind in the first half and were playing catch up the rest of the game.

Berry finished with a game-high 17 points while Luke Maye, who leads the team with 18 points per game, went just 2 for 10 and finished with a season-low six points.

"I didn't want him to score," said Isaiah Wilkins, who led the Cavs with 14 points and guarded Maye. "I was just trying to frustrate him."

With two straight road losses, the Tar Heels are frustrated as are the league-favored Duke Blue Devils who also have two early ACC losses.

It's early but the Tar Heels need to work harder to stay in the regular-season race.

Carolina, which falls to 12-4 and 1-2 in ACC play, returns home to host Boston College Tuesday.

Box Score

Coach Roy Williams
(UNC Sports Information Photo by J.D. Lyon Jr.)

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