(Sporting Alert) — No. 3 Virginia will take on No. 12 North Carolina in what is expected to be an exciting ACC clash at Dean E. Smith Center on Monday night.
The Cavaliers (19-1) suffered its first loss of the season on Saturday night after going down 69-63 to No. 4 Duke and they will be hoping for a quick response.
North Carolina (17-5) also fell at the weekend — losing 78-68 to No. 9 Louisville and they too will seek to bounce back from dropping their fifth game of the season.
Before losing to the Cardinals, the Tar Heels had won five straight games and 11 of the last 12 outings.
North Carolina comes into Monday night’s game rank 2nd in rebounds per game at 43.5 percent and 5th in assists per game at 17.4.
Virginia leads the nation in points allowed at 50.2 percent and after giving up 69 to Duke and head coach Tony Bennett wants his team to focus on defense again.
“We were able to learn some stuff from the Duke game that I think will help prepare us for Carolina, especially our transition defense,” assistant coach Jason Williford said in the build up to the game.
“We gotta be better in that regard. Transition defense is huge, and then offensive rebounds. We gotta keep them off the glass.”
The Cavaliers head into this contest with a dismal 6-65 record in Chapel Hill, while they are 3-23 at the Dean E. Smith Center.
Bennett is hoping for a change on Monday night.
“Hopefully we’ll be resilient. And there’s no better way to test it than at Carolina in a game against that kind of competition on the road.
“So we’ll have to be ready. I told the guys, it’s about trying to play some of our best ball as we’re heading into the stretch run of the season.”
Live action of this Atlantic Coast Conference battle will be live on ESPN, ESPN3, as well as the WatchESPN App.
Following this game, No. 8 Kansas and No. 11 Iowa State will do battle in Big 12 Conference play at Allen Fieldhouse.