UNC vs. Virginia Final Score Prediction for Feb. 24

The Tar Heels are going on the road against one of the best defensive teams in the country.

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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North Carolina isn't the unbeatable team they were early in the season, going 3-3 in their last six games. They had a convincing win against Virginia Tech at home on Saturday but the Tar Heels aren't playing their best basketball of the season.

With Duke on a five-game winning streak, the ACC regular season championship is in jeopardy for North Carolina for the first time this season. And things might get even worse for them as they take on one of the toughest road opponents in the country in Virginia on Friday.

North Carolina vs. Virginia Prediction & Preview

The Virginia Cavaliers are playing their usual brand of basketball under Tony Bennett this season. They play extremely deliberately, using the entire shot clock, and looking for the perfect shot. They are a frustrating team to watch and play against. Even when they are down double digits like they were against Virginia Tech on Saturday, they play the same way.

This severely limits their offensive ceiling as they are ranked the 166th-best team in the country on that end, according to KenPom Ratings.

However, they are really good at what they do. They are one of the best defensive teams in the country. They rarely make mistakes and never turn the ball over. They excel at the possession game, as they force 4.37 turnovers per game more than they commit themselves, leading the ACC in that category by a wide margin.

They are also coming off of one of the worst defeats in program history to their state rivals, Virginia Tech Hokies. Virginia failed to crack 50 points in back-to-back games.

This should be a slow, grit-and-grind style battle between two of the best teams in the conference. North Carolina has a high defensive ceiling when they are locked in as well.

Both teams have to make sure they don't dig themselves a hole early in the game. It's hard to pull off a comeback in Virginia games due to the slow pace.

North Carolina will certainly be locked in as the memory of them falling to UVA at the ACC Tournament in their last matchup is still fresh. Virginia is trying to bounce back and continue making their case to be at the NCAA Tournament. Virginia only lost once at home all season and they should be slightly favored in this matchup as well.

My final score prediction: UNC 56 - Virginia 59

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