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Streaking Virginia Cavaliers Host Miami Hurricanes in ACC Opener: Game Thread

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What: No. 21/23 Virginia Cavaliers (13-1, 0-0 ACC) vs. Miami Hurricanes (9-4, 0-0 ACC)

Time: 6:00 p.m.
Date: January 7, 2012
Place: John Paul Jones Arena
TV: ESPN U
Radio: Virginia Sports Radio Network

Spread: Virginia -6.5, Pomeroy: Virginia 63-56 (79%)
Last Meeting: I don't want to talk about it.
Last Time Out: Miami 99, UNC Greensboro 89
Series: Miami leads 9-4

The Cavaliers are going for their fourth straight ACC opener win and their twelfth straight win this season as Miami comes into town tonight. The Cavaliers are second in the country in scoring defense, allowing just 50.4 points per game, while also holding them to just a 38.2 field goal percentage.

The 'Canes, on the other hand, put up an average of 73.6 points per game and are 30th in the country in three point field goal percentage, at 39.0%.

More follows the jump.

VIRGINIA'S PROBABLE STARTERS

G Jontel Evans
Jr. 6.9 ppg
1.8 rpg
3.4 apg
C Assane Sene Sr. 5.2 ppg 3.9 rpg
1.0 blk
G Joe Harris So. 13.0 ppg 3.9 rpg 1.6 apg
G Sammy Zeglinski Sr. 10.3 ppg 2.7 rpg 2.8 apg
F Mike Scott Sr. 16.0 ppg 9.0 rpg 1.7 apg

MIAMI'S PROBABLE THUGS STARTERS

F Kenny Kadji So. 10.6 ppg
5.3 rpg
1.8 blk
C Reggie Johnson Jr. 10.8 ppg 6.5 rpg
2.3 blk
G Malcolm Grant Sr. 14.5 ppg 2.6 rpg 1.7 apg
G Trey McKinney Jones
Jr. 8.5 ppg 4.5 rpg 2.0 apg
G Durand Scott Jr. 13.3 ppg 4.5 rpg 3.5 apg

Both Zeglinski and Grant have each made 29 3-pointers this season to tie for third in the ACC, though Sammy had an extra game to do so.

Miami's Kenny Kadji and Reggie Johnson are a pretty powerful inside combo, from everything I've read this past week and based on our interview with Category 6 earlier this week.

To be completely honest, I've been a bit cocky this week. I don't think the Miami offense, which is fourth best in the ACC in terms of pure scoring, has faced anything close to Virginia's top-notch defense. Then again, nor has Virginia faced an inside presence, or scoring offense, quite like Miami's (which I won't count as "top-notch," but I'll at least place in the "better than average" category). Still, Virginia is on the verge of separating from the pack and establishing itself as a clear No. 3 in the conference this year, while Miami is very much so a middle-of-the-pack team.

You want a final prediction? I'll take Virginia in semi-convincing fashion, 68-57.

Here are some other random numbers:

  • Virginia has two of the ACC's top 5 thieves in Sammy Zeglinski and Bub Evans, who average 1.8 (2nd) and 1.7 (5th) steals per game, respectively.
  • Mike Scott eclipses the rest of the conference in field goal shooting percentage, at 61.9%. The next closest is North Carolina's John Henson, who hits 56.0%.
  • Only North Carolina has a greater scoring margin than Virginia. The Hoos outscore their opponents by an average of 16.2 points per game. Miami outscores their opponents by an average of 5.6 points per game.
  • Virginia only gets an average of 33.9 rebounds a game, but on the flip side, leads the conference in rebounding defense, giving up just 27.1 rebounds per game. Part of this is simply that there aren't as many possessions in a Cavalier game than in much of the rest of the conference. Another part of this is that I like to list stats where Virginia is the conference leader.

Leave your pre-, in- and post-game thoughts here.