Joe Lunardi reveals importance of Virginia game for UNC basketball

The North Carolina Tar Heels have a big opportunity ahead of them on Saturday afternoon in the Dean E. Smith Center.

No. 6 Virginia comes to town fresh off a big loss to Boston College on Wednesday night. The Tar Heels are coming off a win over Notre Dame, avoiding an upset in South Bend. But this is the chance for North Carolina to pick up a Quad 1 win, something it doesn’t have as we approach Selection Sunday.

Going into this game, UNC is on the outside looking in on most mock brackets, including the one by ESPN’s bracketologist Joe Lunardi. The Tar Heels are team No. 71, moving down from No. 69 on Wednesday, on Lunardi’s bracket. What would a win for UNC do over Virginia?

While it would be important, Lunardi said the Tar Heels still will not be in the field even with a win:

That doesn’t mean UNC can lose that game, either. The Tar Heels desperately need a Quad 1 win and with three games left, they have limited opportunities left with home games against Virginia and Duke.

Now, UNC could also get some help with Penn State, Mississippi State, Oklahoma State, USC or Wisconsin losing this weekend and the Tar Heels getting a win. That might change some things in terms of Lunardi’s thinking.

But for now, it’s “just win, baby!” for the Tar Heels.

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Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire