The North Carolina Tar Heels bounced back from their crushing last second home loss to Duke on Wednesday with a 70-52 win over a ranked Virginia Cavaliers team. The Cavs kept it close through the first twenty minutes, but UNC turned it up in the second half to pull away for the comfortable double-digit win.
Carolina clamped down on the defensive end, holding a slow-paced Tony Bennett squad to just 52 points. While Virginia boasts one of the ACC's best frontcourt players in Mike Scott, UNC's front line combination overwhelmed the Cavaliers and was the difference in the second half. Tyler Zeller, who missed a key free throw on Carolina's final possession against Duke, led Roy Williams's squad with 25 points while also grabbing nine rebounds. His partner down low, John Henson, added 14 points and 11 rebounds. The third member of Carolina's front court, Harrison Barnes, did not have his best shooting day but still matched Henson's double-double effort by chipping in with 10 points and 10 boards.
Scott held his own on the offensive end for UVA, finishing with 18 points. But the potential ACC Player of the Year candidate had little help, as sharpshooter Sammy Zeglinski was just one of six from behind the arc. The Cavs struggled as a team from long range, shooting a woeful 18.8 percent. The poor shooting, along with UNC's front line which had a 17 rebound advantage on the glass, were simply too much for UVA to overcome.