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Virginia Cavaliers Basketball: On the Tobacco Road to Chapel Hill's North Carolina Tar Heels

Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

What: Virginia Cavaliers (18-6, 8-3 ACC) vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (16-8, 6-5 ACC)

Time: 12:00 noon

Date: February 16, 2013
Place: Dean Smith Center
TV: ACC Network, ESPN3
Radio: Virginia Sports Radio Network

Spread: UNC -5; Pomeroy: UNC 64-63 (48%)
Last Meeting: UVA 61-52 over UNC on Jan. 6

Speaking strictly in terms of wins and losses and mathematical possibilities, this is not a must-win for Virginia.

But with a low RPI and a tough schedule ahead, including a trip to No. 3 Miami and hosting No. 2 Duke, it sure does have that feel.

With only three home games remaining, a road win today would go a long way in giving the Cavaliers a little ease of mind that the Hoos may very well make the big dance this year. A loss could mean a blow in confidence and a tremendous uphill ways to go.

The team that controls today's tempo will likely return to Charlottesville with a win (see what I did there?). Carolina ranks 13th in the country in points per game, 6th in rebounds per game and 3rd in assists -- all tempo-based stats -- but only 120th (44.2%) in field goal percentage. The Hoos are shooting 46.1% (49th in the country) and, with any luck, Joe Harris will once again be ON FIIIIIRE.

Another huge game today -- leave your game thoughts here and GO HOOS!