Tonight the Tar Heels face a talented Virginia team, one that has been expecting great things but thus far has been an enigma. We may see the Cavaliers team that came back a double digit deficit to beat the 10th ranked Arizona Wildcats. Or we may see the team that lost by double digits, at home, to Appalachian State, and barely screeched by a college team from Puerto Rico. Which Virginia team we see will determine whether we beat them by a little or a lot. Wait, did I just say that? Crap.
- Guard play. UVa is considered a team that can represent the ACC in the tourney because of their three star guards, point guard Sean Singletary (above), 3-guard Mamadi Diane, and the oh-so-close-to-being-aptly-named J.R. Reynolds (below). They combine for 46.4 of Virginia’s 80.9 points per game. Our scoring threat on the backcourt in Wayne Ellington and that’s pretty much it.
- Experience. The Cavs bring back four of their five starters from last year (Diane, Reynolds, Jason Cain, and Adrian Joseph), all of which are upperclassmen. Then again, I said that experience was to be an advantage for FSU on Sunday, and look how it got them. Still, the track record of experienced teams makes this nugget hard to ignore.
- Frontcourt. It’s not that they have a bad frontcourt; Cain and Joseph and more than capable at the college level. It’ s just that they’re facing the front of Tyler frickin’ Hansbrough and Brendan Frickin’ Wright. Almost every college frontcourt is at a disadvantage against them.
- Inconsistency. I touched on it earlier that the level of play that the UVa exhibited this season has been inconsistent. Even against Arizona they had to overcome a large deficit. They need to play at full intensity fo 40 minutes to have a chance in this game, and I don;t see it happening.
- Quentin Thomas. After seeing him and the intensity he showed against Florida State, I’m convinced that he can be just as good tonight as Frasor and Lawson, and he deserves a lot of playing time in this game (I propose 15 minutes for Q, 10 for Frasor and 15 for Lawson). Being a third good point guard creates a triple threat that Singletary may not be able to keep up with.
I hope I didn’t jinx the Tar Heels with my bravado. Don’t worry, if they lose tonight, I will blame you. Yes, you the reader. It’s all YOUR fault!!!!