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First up for Duke in the ACC is Virginia, in Charlottesville.Â This
could be an interesting game. First of all, there is the payback factor, and
expect that to be a potential issue all season.Â Since Duke killed everyone
in the ACC last year, they're all liable to want their shot at revenge, and no
one got beat up worse than the 'Hoos, who were basically helpless and lost by
over 450 each time. Wait, that's a typo. But it felt like that at the time. It
was hard to believe one ACC team could be so strong and one so weak.
Yet in retrospect, Virginia played their hearts out, in that game and all
season,Â and at one point in the season were on the verge of upsetting UNC.Â
All in all a brilliant coaching performance from Pete Gillen, who had almost no
bench and very few scholarship players.
A season later, he hasÂ ton of players and a different set of issues -
who should start? How will he fire up the big men? And more.
The noise from Charlottesville seems to be dismay by and large, but we aren't
buying that.Â Pete Gillen is complaining about his team's effort vs zone
defense, but why worry about that for the Duke game? They won't see much, if
One of the really interesting angles to this game will be seeing stud
freshmen big men Carlos Boozer and Travis Watson lock horns.Â Â Both
are really really good, though Watson's season so far has been injury free and
hence more noteworthy, at least statistically.
One place where UVa might have a significant advantage, in at least one way,
is at point: they have Donald Hand and Majestic Mapp.
Anyway, we'll have more as the game gets closer.
Virginia Notes, as sent in by a reader:
Duke went 5-5 at Virginia in the 1990's with Victories in
1992,1994,1997,1998,1999; the margins were + 6, +8, +1,+ 7 and + 46(which was
the schools largest ACC road victory margin in Duke history)
Duke has won 9 in a row against Virginia going back to 1996;Â the Devils also
won 16 in a row vs the Cavaliers from 1984-90, after suffering the worst
defeat in School History to Ralph Sampson and friends in the 1983 ACC
Tournament by 43 points. That was the game in which UVA coach Terry Holland
and Ralph Sampson accused Jay Bilas of playing dirty. In 1990, which was
Hollands last season he told his team that he would shave his head if they
beat Duke which had beaten his Cavs 16 straight.Â UVA responded with a 72-69
victory breaking the streak.
The Cavs also broke another Duke streak, defeating the Devils in Cameron in
1993 to snap a 36 in a row home winning streak. The Devils had played a
brutally physical Iowa team just the day before and were clearly out of gas
UVA went 69-87 in the ACC Regular Season in the 1990's which puts them 6th in
the Conference for the past decade.