Few teams score more than North Carolina. The fifth-ranked Tar Heels average 86.4 points per game, good for seventh in the nation and third among Power 5 teams. They’ve notched 100 or more five times this season and they average the most assists per game in the country.
Yet tonight, they limped to a ten-point loss to Virginia and only put up 43 points. That’s the fewest they’ve scored in one game since 1979 and the fewest they’ve put up in a game this year by 19 points. Only one player reached double figures and the team shot 35 percent.
Virginia had been on a four-game skid until they beat N.C. State on Saturday, and they’ve now turned it all the way around. They have the best scoring defense in the nation, and this is their season’s capstone win. London Perrantes is a fearsome defender and he checked Justin Jackson for a good deal of the night. Jackson’s line? Seven points on 3-for-10 shooting and a pair of turnovers in 33 minutes of work. Freshman guard Kyle Guy led all scorers with 17, three of which came on this nice little buzzer-beater.
UNC will be the 1 seed in the ACC tournament and they have Duke on Saturday to wrap up the regular season. Not only did Virginia earn a statement win tonight, they avenged their worst loss since 2013 and they’ll enter the ACC tournament with a ton of momentum. That’s quite the turnaround from where they were a week ago.