Avenging a 24-point defeat from nine days ago, the No. 23 Virginia Cavaliers upset the No. 5 North Carolina Tar Heels 53-43 Monday night in Charlottesville, Virginia.
According to ESPN Stats & Info, it was North Carolina's lowest scoring output since Roy Williams' arrival in 2003.
Virginia's Kyle Guy led all scorers with 17 points on 6-of-11 shooting. The freshman guard added six rebounds and four assists, and the ACC Digital Network shared some of Guy's highlights:
Guy caught the attention of former Cavaliers defensive end Chris Long:
London Perrantes and Devon Hall chipped in with 13 and 11 points for the hosts.
Joel Berry II (12 points) was the only Tar Heel in double figures. Kennedy Meeks and Justin Jackson combined to shoot 6-of-18 and score 13 points.
North Carolina looked out of sorts all night.
Virginia led 27-23 at halftime despite having shot 10-of-30 from the floor and 4-of-13 from beyond the arc. The Cavaliers did, however, force 12 turnovers, which offset their poor offensive start. InsideCarolina showed the impact the turnovers had on the Heels:
Adam Lucas of North Carolina's site noted the sloppiness was unusual for this year's team:
Former Tar Heels star J.R. Reid offered his thoughts on what his alma mater needed to do to solve Virginia's stifling defense:
The Cavs' lead swelled to 33-23 with 17:32 left when Guy knocked down a three-pointer.
North Carolina closed the gap to one point with 9:26 remaining on Tony Bradley's layup, but the Tar Heels then surrendered a three-pointer to Perrantes at the other end, and they were never within striking distance for the rest of the game.
North Carolina did a much better job protecting the ball in the second half, turning it over just two times in the final 20 minutes. The Tar Heels' shooting all but evaporated, though. They were 8-of-29 from the floor and missed 10 of their 11 attempts from beyond the arc.
Sporting News' Sam Vencenie was surprised to see such a poor showing:
Credit the Virginia defense for hounding North Carolina's shooters on every possession.
The Cavaliers wrap up the regular season against the Pittsburgh Panthers on Saturday afternoon.
In his most recent edition of Bracketology, ESPN.com's Joe Lunardi listed Virginia as a No. 5 seed in the NCAA tournament. The team could probably climb another seed or two depending on Saturday's result and how deep it goes in the ACC tournament.
The Tar Heels, meanwhile, may slip a bit from their No. 1 seed in Lunardi's bracket. North Carolina can rebound with a victory over the Duke Blue Devils on Saturday night, when it can secure the ACC regular-season title with a win.
"I thought we had more purpose in our cuts, and our screens, and our offense," Virginia head coach Tony Bennett said of his team, per Virginia Basketball. "Our defense kept us attached and helped us find offense. I told our guys before the game, 'This is a golden opportunity for us.'"
Jackson didn't fret too much over losing to a talented Cavaliers team.
"There's no long-term concern," he said, per Inside Carolina's Lindsey Sparrow. "Virginia is a great team, they're seventh in the ACC, but they're not a seventh-type team."
North Carolina head coach Roy Williams offered a similar assessment, according to Inside Carolina's Evan Chronis: "It's the ACC. That's what it is, guys. You guys act like it's nothing, but this is a pretty doggone tough league. We can stink it up one night and then we can play like great balls of fire the next night, and so can the other teams."