North Carolina responded well to its shocking loss at home to Duke last Wednesday night by beating Virginia 70-52. UNC closed strong and displayed a great deal of maturity.
The Tar Heels converted only one 3-pointer, but were dominant on the glass, and they held UVa’s Joe Harris to only eight points.
UNC improved to 21-4 overall and 8-2 in the ACC, while Virginia fell to 19-5 and 6-4.
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Here are both teams’ grades on their performances:
Virginia offense: The Wahoos struggled getting good looks for Joe Harris and generally didn’t run an efficient offense, especially in the second half. They converted 36.4 percent of their field goal attempts for the game, including a paltry 18.8 percent from 3-point range. UVa also had three more turnovers than assists. Grade: D.
UNC offense: Carolina missed a lot of shots, but many were solid looks, though some were forced, notably by Harrison Barnes, who was just 4-for-15 on the day. UNC made 35.3 percent of its shots, as it was 1-for-10 from beyond the arc. But the Tar Heels made up for it by grabbing 23 offensive rebounds. Tyler Zeller (25 points) was sensational again and has become UNC’s best player. Grade: C-.
Virginia defense: Tony Bennett’s team did a nice job of making Carolina work for its points. UNC missed a bunch of shots and Kendall Marshall was limited to six assists. It appeared UVa tired some late, as its defense was less effective over the final 10 minutes of the contest. Grade: B.
UNC defense: The Tar Heels allowed too much dribble penetration in the first half but cut that off over the final 25 minutes of the contest. Carolina crushed Virginia on the boards and may have gotten into its heads some, which contributed to UVa not running a solid offense for most of the second half. Grade: A.
Virginia intangibles: Virginia doesn’t beat itself, but it did lose its focus and fight a little in this one. The Cavaliers were out rebounded 48-31, including allowing 23 on the offensive glass. The Cavs appeared to wear down some and didn’t do a great job fighting through it. Grade: C-.
UNC intangibles: Carolina wobbled some early, but the Heels eventually flexed their maturity muscles and pulled away for the victory. UNC didn’t quite get to that next level, but the Tar Heels pushed pretty hard. Carolina won the rebounding battle 48-31 and had 23 offensive rebounds. UNC also blocked six shots, registered seven steals, and the reserves played well on a day UNC was without its best three shooting guards. Grade: A.