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A look at UVA

February 20, 2009

Rank and Records UVA NCST
RPI #84 #87
Strength of Schedule #1 #76
Overall 9-13 14-10
Conference 3-8 4-7
Home 8-6 12-3
Away 1-7 2-7
Top 25 1-5 1-5
RPI Top 50 1-8 2-7

The Trap Game. The most dreaded part of any schedule — the game following or preceding a huge rivalry game that should be an easy “W.”

This weekend’s game against UVa is the very definition of a trap game: A game against a team perceived to be weak based on overall record but coming in on a two-game winning streak against highly ranked Clemson and a strong Virginia Tech squad. A game following an emotional, hard-fought game against your bitter rival.

(Continues)

Thankfully for the Pack, this game is at home and the Cavaliers have won only one game all year on the road (@GT). Conversely, the Pack has played well at home in recent weeks.

Still…something about this game scares the hell out of me. Sylvan Landesberg (who?) has been tearing it up lately from the guard position, scoring 23 and 19 against the Tigers and Hokies, respectively. They’ve been playing with three guards on the court and only turned the ball over 10 times against VT. Given that State likes to play “big” and likes to turn the ball over even more, those two elements just aren’t jiving in the Pack’s favor.

This game will be a big test for the Pack, mentally. Can they get off the mat after the Carolina loss and get up early on a team they should? Further, can they STAY up on a team they’ve gotten a lead against, putting the proverbial “foot on the throat” of the opponent? We saw some of that against Georgia Tech late in the game. Will we see it again?

The game tips at 1:00 and can be seen on Raycom TV.

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