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#8 UNC at Virginia Tech

Where: Cassell Coliseum, Blacksburg, VA
When: Thursday, January 19th, 9:00 PM
Records: UNC 15-3, 2-1 ACC; Virginia Tech 11-6, 0-3 ACC

I have no idea what to expect.

This game is really a mystery to me. On one side you have Virginia Tech staring the NIT square in the face after only three ACC games. The Hokies looked to be in decent position having won on the road at Oklahoma St and only tallying three losses, all of them of the acceptable variety. Then came ACC play and Virginia Tech has lost its first three league games by a total of eight points compounded by the fact two of those losses came versus KenPom 200+ teams Wake Forest and Boston College. To say the Hokies are desperate would be an understatement. They need a win period but they need a win versus a good team to try and undo the damage wrought by an 0-3 start. I also think this season might have an impact of Seth Greenberg’s job status should it go off the rails.

On the other side you have UNC coming off a historically bad game. National title contenders simply do not get it handed to them by an unranked team the way UNC did on Saturday. It raises a ton of questions about this team. All the standard criticisms are in play. Effort, intensity, winning edge, perimeter shooting, toughness, c0oaching etc, etc, etc. The topic that has not been broached so far is team chemistry but I imagine if UNC loses this game we will have five different members of the media going that direction. So the questions about about how UNC responds? Do they come out angry? Will they play better? Is simply winning enough? Do they need to make small children cry in the stands to right the ship? In short it is incredibly difficult to get a grasp on exactly on this game.

Since that is the case, I am going with the the simplest equation possible. Just win. There are a variety of things UNC cannot control in a game like this. What they can control is playing the game to win. The shooting might still be off but UNC is more talented than Virginia Tech and is simply the better team provided they are focused. A loss like UNC experience is adversity of the highest order. Bad teams splinter and fall apart. Good teams take the experience, band together stronger and come out on a mission to take care of business. Eric Montross said that is how the 1993 team responded and this team needs to respond the same way.

I am not sure the margin matters as much as (1) winning the game and (2) doing it playing Carolina basketball.

UNC 82 VT 68


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28 comments to #8 UNC at Virginia Tech

  • AZACCFan

    “I have no idea what to expect.”

    Expect that lots of fans will be watching this one!

  • BoyWilliams


    What if they came out flat,
    - like Popeye without his spinach?
    What would Roy think of that?
    …Blue Steel’d get serious minutes!

  • gregrustin

    get mad is all i can say

  • hampdensydneylax22

    wouldn’t be surprised to see us come out and have one of those 4 minute runs where we build a quick 14-2 lead leading into the first media timeout although i wouldn’t be surprised if this game was close; Blacksburg is a tough place to play when the big boys come to town and vatech is desperate as all get out.

  • LarryS

    The most compelling thing about this game is how they’ll respond on the road, and to a team desperate for a good win, heck any win.

    Last year they got to come home after the GT loss, where they did OK, but this is a bit more interesting. I feel like they’re mentally equipped for it, and talent is not a question, so, if I participated in this type of thing, I’d probably give the 7 points (my, what a difference a big loss can make) and try to get my money back from last week.


  • I expect they will come out hot then Roy will start rotating players and it will get choppy. Probably what should happen is he should give the starters a good run if they are playing well and maybe rotate in Bullock for Strickland. If they build a good lead, after maybe the 2nd TV timeout you start with the normal rotations. I am not usually a big critic of Roy’s rotation but I think there have been signs it has been disruptive to the offensive flow in certain games.

  • gso_tarheel

    Well said THF…Who knows with this one. I would not be surprised by a 30 point beat-down BY UNC or a single digit win by EITHER team. I think it is actually pretty hard coming back in the next game after something like The Debacle. Not with respect to intensity, but confidence. They have to re-establish on the court, in the game, that they are a NC contender. It may take 2-3 games to get the residual stench out of their minds. Either way, it is must-see TV.

  • Heel To The End

    more concerned how theyll come out on the road…in a month.

  • BoyWilliams

    ^^^ Oh boy — here THF goes with his “Free Reggie” bulls&#t

  • “more concerned how theyll come out on the road…in a month.”

    Here is the scenario I think signals they are fine. Winning the next ten games which will include beating Duke and UVa in Chapel Hill. At that point they could lose to UVa on the road, come back and beat MD at home and Duke on the road to finish 14-2.

    The late season loss to UVa is fine as long as they compete in it. If that happens and they win the rest, FSU will look like a complete aberration.

  • “^^^ Oh boy — here THF goes with his “Free Reggie” bulls&#t”

    Heh…not really. Bullock rotating in for Strickland after 2-4 mins seems the right way to do it. It changes the dynamic a little and Bullock is good enough on defense.

  • Heel To The End

    well, YES, if they beat dook twice they ARE fine.
    sounds like a plan to me.

  • AZACCFan

    FSU is an aberration.

    The crazy thing is that the past does not reliably predict the future, especially in something like College Basketball.

    Which is a large part of why it is fun to watch.

    Early last year getting this team to do anything positive was a miracle; as the season unfolded and players got sorted, a steady improvement overall occurred. The same thing can certainly happen now.

    The worst scare of the FSU game was seeing Zeller lying on the floor under the basket in the second half. I thought he had another horrible injury. Luckily they are all still playing.

    GO Heels!

  • LarryS

    “Bullock rotating in for Strickland after 2-4 mins seems the right way to do it.”

    And the recently typical way of doing it.

    Here’s where Bulloch came in for Strickland in the 3 ACC games:

    Miami - 15:46
    BC - 16:23

  • mcgoody

    Using vernacular from 1993, let me just say “word up!” I agree THF, we just need to win. Let’s roll…

  • makeitWayne22

    I dont expect a blow out, or much of a different approach from Roy. He doesnt change during the season. Hopefully tonight the heels make some shots.

    Just watch Harrison in the first 5 minutes, if hes engaged the heels will roll, if not welp…..

  • 52bgJ

    I think this thing could get ugly..and not regarding the score. A bit of desperation on both sides, and in Blacksburg? We’ll see what they’re made of tonight. Mouth-smackage.

    ..come together…right now…over me

  • Moustache

    here’s what else is frustrating…it was 5 days since the FSU game and then, after tonight, another WEEK until NC State.

    I’m afraid they’ll lose their angry (?) momentum in that span of 12 days.

  • makeitWayne22

    Totally Random, and not related to bball, but THF i think its time to replace Tate’s photo with a Photo of Nicks

  • TarHeelInMinny

    I think the Heels, after this extended amount of time between this game and The Debacle (h/t @THF!) come in locked and loaded. Even if the outside shooting is off, I have to think Barnes, Henson and Zeller will dominate the offensive glass. I thought I read somewhere this week that VPI is very weak on the defensive glass and I expect our effort to pay dividends in that area.

    If I were a player, I’d be chomping at the bit to go in this one. I just hope we don’t overdo it and try to do too much offensively. Look for us to push the ball in transition for layups, but be a bit smarter about taking quick jump shots.

    UNC 92, VPI 59. Just to be ironic.

  • Heels Perspective

    If VPI is beating the Heels and the fans threaten to storm the court, what will Roy do?

  • Seth Greenberg said yesterday if VT fans rush the court he will personally escort Roy Williams off.

  • THF, please delete this comment if you prefer it not be mentioned here, but did ANYONE see Wayne Ellington’s dunk last night? He drove into traffic and slammed it w/authority…something I didn’t know he had in him.

    Check it out if you get the chance.

  • THF, I think Seth would be honored to do that! lol.

  • makeitWayne22

    The Arizona game, Wayne’s freshman….. That dunk was the amazing

  • We need to play our game and win. I don’t have any time for speculation regarding the sky what it might do tomorrow.

    -Chicken Little

  • Silent Sam

    THF predicted UNC 82 VPI 68. So, what was the final score? Let’s see . . . it was UNC 82 VPI 68. Not a bad prediction at all!

  • deepenwide

    wow! Great prediction.

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