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Virginia vs North Carolina Tar Heels College Basketball: Game Thread

What: No. 19/20 Virginia Cavaliers (19-4, 6-3 ACC) vs. No. 5 North Carolina Tar Heels (20-3, 7-2 ACC)

Time: 1:00 p.m.
Date: February 11, 2012
Place: Dean Dome
TV: ACC Network, ESPN 3
Radio: Virginia Sports Radio Network

Spread: North Carolina -10; Pomeroy: UNC 67, UVA 61 (27%)
Last Meeting: Virginia 56, UNC 62
Last Time Out: UNC 84, Duke 85
Series: UNC leads 125-49

At just one game back from the top of the conference, Virginia is going for their second-ever win at the Dean Smith Center this afternoon, as the Hoos travel to No. 5 Carolina, where a win could push Virginia into a tie for third with UNC and NC State. It would just the second time in the last nine meetings that the Cavaliers come out of this game with a win.

North Carolina is reeling from their one point loss at home to the Blue Devils, which makes them an even scarier team, for those of you who weren't already afraid of a team with eight, count 'em, EIGHT McDonald's All Americans.

In the last meeting between the two teams at Chapel Hill, Virginia blew open the second half early with a 18-0 run to give Virginia a 21-point lead. The Hoos would go on to win the game, 75-60, in Virginia's biggest margin of victory in 69 all-time appearances at Chapel Hill.

Three guards are out for Carolina for this game -- freshman guard P.J. Hairston played in 10 scoreless minutes on Wednesday against Duke, but is stuck in a protective boot on his left foot. He has played in all 24 games for Carolina, and is third on the team with three-pointers made, with 30 on the season. Also out for the Heels are juniors Leslie McDonald, who has a girl's name, and Dexter Strickland, who started the first 19 games, but underwent reconstructive knee surgery on Friday and will miss the remainder of the season. Strickland was shooting at team-high 57% from the field, averaging 7.5 points per game.

Not to get all pacist around here, but Carolina leads the nation in both points and rebounds per game, at 84.1 and 46.1, respectively. But the Heels are kind of crappy from the free throw line, shooting, just 65.4% (280th in the country), while Virginia is shooting 72.7% (63rd). The goal for Virginia should be to hack away all day long at John Henson, who shoots an abysmal 45.5%.

This could be a HUGE win for Virginia and a solid stamp on the NCAA Tournament resume. A loss won't be the end of the world, but it's just about time that these road warriors need to pull off a big upset outside of Charlottesville.

Leave your pre-, in- and post-game thoughts here and Go HOOS, Go America!