Which version of UVA basketball will UNC face Saturday?

Despite having a lot of newcomers on its roster, the UVA men’s basketball team has exceeded expectations and rose to third place in the ACC.

Not too long ago, the Cavaliers (20-7, 11-5) were trailing UNC for first place.

Every good team is due to have a few bad games every year. For North Carolina (20-6, 12-3), those letdowns have occurred in consecutive Tuesdays against Georgia Tech, Clemson and Syracuse.

For UVA, that major letdown came on Monday evening against in-state rival Virginia Tech, as the Hokies smacked the Cavaliers by a 75-41 mark. VT shot over 50 percent from the field and built a 20-point halftime lead – for a slow-paced team like UVA, that deficit is monumental to overcome.

You might be wondering, how does the Cavaliers’ loss affect UNC?

For one, the two longtime rivals face off on Saturday afternoon in Charlottesville. Second, you could see one of two UVA teams – a discouraged bunch, wonder how it’ll ever recover from its most demoralizing defeat on the year, or a hungry bunch eager to show it belongs in the same echelon as North Carolina and Duke.

The Tar Heels can’t expect the Cavaliers the play one way or the other, but instead focus on winning in Charlottesville for the first time since 2012. I expect UNC to play with vengeance, as UVA sent them home in the ACC Tournament Quarterfinals last year.

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Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire