Home North Carolina dominated Virginia twice last season: There’s your challenge on Tuesday

North Carolina dominated Virginia twice last season: There’s your challenge on Tuesday

Chris Graham
kadin shedric
Kadin Shedrick blocks an Armando Bacot shot at the 2022 ACC Tournament. Photo: ACC

North Carolina utterly owned Virginia last season, winning by 16 in Chapel Hill, in a game that wasn’t that close, and then dominating in a 20-point win in the ACC Tournament.

One of the features of the Tony Bennett Packline is that it’s supposed to take out a big post guy like Armando Bacot with the post-to-post doubles.

But you have to box him out, which wasn’t done much, if at all, in the game in Chapel Hill.

Bacot had 22 rebounds, nine on the offensive glass, on his way to a 29-point afternoon.

On the other side, Virginia’s bigs, Kadin Shedrick and Francisco Caffaro, had two points and two rebounds between them in 36 total minutes.

That one also had Brady Manek (19 points, 5-of-9 3FG) and Caleb Love (16 points, 4-of-9 3FG) making a lot of tough shots on the perimeter.

The game in Brooklyn saw Carolina shut down everything Virginia tried to do on the offensive end. It was 33-13 UNC at the break, and the ‘Hoos were never in it thereafter, if they ever were pretty much from the opening tip.

These are the two teams meeting up Tuesday night in Charlottesville.

Oddly, for college hoops in 2023, the rosters are largely the same, just a year older.

The challenge for Tony Bennett is going to be getting his guys to box out Bacot, close out on the perimeter, and run good offense.

Easier said than done.

Getting to know North Carolina

Bacot, yet again, is putting up ACC Player of the Year numbers – 18.8 points per game, 11.2 rebounds per game, 56.7 percent shooting.

The backcourt of Love (16.9 ppg, 3.3 assists/g, 39.9% FG, 29.0% 3FG) and RJ Davis (16.4 ppg, 3.4 assists/g, 43.6% FG, 34.6% 3FG) is productive, but they also use the ball a ton – Love averages 15.2 shot attempts per game, Davis 12.6.

Pete Nance, the grad transfer from Northwestern, this season’s Manek, is also scoring in double-digits (10.9 ppg, 6.1 rebounds/g, 50.0% FG, 34.0% 3FG).

The fifth starter, Leaky Black, doesn’t put much in the counting numbers (7.3 pgg, 6.1 rebounds/g, 45.6% FG, 37.1% 3FG), but the rangy 6’9” senior is a Swiss army knife on defense, able to guard 1-5.

Nance missed the UNC win over Notre Dame on Saturday with a sore back. Freshman Seth Trimble (3.0 ppg, 14.0 minutes/g) started in his place, and had a quiet day – three points (1-of-2 FG, 1-of-4 FT), three rebounds, four assists and two turnovers in 23 minutes.

Junior Puff Johnson (3.8 ppg, 14.7 minutes/g) also got more minutes in Nance’s absence on Saturday, and had a season-high 11 points (4-of-5 FG) and six rebounds in 22 minutes.


  • ESPN BPI: Virginia +5.4, 71% win probability
  • Bart Torvik: Virginia 69-64, 71% win probability
  • KenPom: Virginia 70-66, 67% win probability
  • EvanMiya: Virginia 70-66, 65.8% win probability


Chris Graham

Chris Graham

Chris Graham is the founder and editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1994 alum of the University of Virginia, Chris is the author and co-author of seven books, including Poverty of Imagination, a memoir published in 2019, and Team of Destiny: Inside Virginia Basketball’s Run to the 2019 National Championship, and The Worst Wrestling Pay-Per-View Ever, published in 2018. For his commentaries on news, sports and politics, go to his YouTube page, or subscribe to his Street Knowledge podcast. Email Chris at [email protected].