As promised earlier in the week, here is the rooting guide for Saturday, February 20.
What Virginia's got already: No worse than the #9 seed. Woo!!
What Virginia could get today: As good as the #8 seed for sure, if Syracuse beats Pitt AND Virginia Tech beats Florida State. Woo!!
The Big One: Miami at North Carolina
What Virginia wants: Overtimes and ejections. Miami travels back to Coral Gables to face Virginia on only one day's rest after this game, while Virginia will have had a full week off. UNC's high-tempo, high-possession style could help wear down the Hoos' next opponent.
Outside of tired legs, there's no clear-cut rooting interest. Both teams have 10 wins in conference (tied with UVa), which means at least one team will stay one win ahead of the Hoos for now. Virginia faces each once more this year in the weeks to come, so this game's effect on tiebreaking scenarios is too tenuous to determine just yet.
KenPom rates the game as being 69% (nice) in Carolina's favor.
Notre Dame at Georgia Tech - Go Jackets. Notre Dame doesn't exactly face murderer's row these next few weeks. A win would bump them up to being tied with UVa so we're looking for as many Irish tears as we can get. (KenPom: Notre Dame 54%)
Duke at Louisville - Go Cardinals. Louisville gives Virginia the double-advantage of not being in the hunt for ACC tournament seeding but still being considered for tiebreakers. The more UL can do to knock out the other contenders, the better. And, of course, f**k Duke. (KenPom: Louisville 68%)
Syracuse vs. Pittsburgh - Go Orange, but kind of whatever. UVa's beaten both and doesn't play either one again. As noted above, an SU win moves the Hoos one step closer to clinching the all-coveted eighth seed. (KenPom: Syracuse 75%)
Clemson at N.C. State - Go Tigers. Again, Virginia has beaten both but plays Clemson again on March 1. We want Clemson to have as many non-UVa wins as they can get. (KenPom: NC State 60%)
The next edition of the rooting guide will be on Tuesday the 23rd, accounting for what happens this weekend and in UVa's matchup with Miami.