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College Basketball Game Thread: Virginia Cavaliers Host North Carolina Tar Heels

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USA TODAY Sports

What: Virginia Cavaliers (10-3, 0-0 ACC) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (10-3, 0-0 ACC)

Time: 8:00 p.m. ET

Date: January 6, 2013
Place: John Paul Jones Arena
TV: ESPNU, ESPN3
Radio: Virginia Sports Radio Network

Spread: Virginia -2.5 (Not a typo); Pomeroy: UVA 68-63 (67%)
Last Meeting:February 24, 2012: UVA 51, #7 UNC 54

Seriously, you guys. Virginia is favored today. The Hoos have never lost an ACC opener under Tony Bennett (it's only three years, but that was much more fun to type that way). But on the flip side, UNC has never lost at John Paul Jones Arena. Ever. They're the only ACC team that can claim that, but that ends tonight.

Jontel Evans has only played in four contests so far this season and has missed the past four, but will likely return to the lineup today in this critical matchup. I hate calling the first game of the conference season critical, but with Carolina in a slump and Virginia with a mixed-emotion-OOC result, this game could set the tone for how the rest of the season could go. If the Hoos can pick up the win, it will do wonders for this young squad looking to gain confidence and consistency.

Freshman Mike Tobey is coming off a career-high scoring game against Wofford with 19 points. Akil Mitchell is having a great season, averaging 13.2 points and 9.2 rebounds a game. Joe Harris will need to do Joe Harris-like things today to set the pace for the underclassmen.

It's January and every game matters! Leave your pre-, in-, and post-game thoughts here, and GO HOOS!