Jan 6, 2013; Charlottesville, VA, USA; North Carolina Tar Heels guard Marcus Paige (5) handles the ball against Virginia Cavaliers guard Teven Jones (5) at John Paul Jones Arena. Mandatory Credit: Peter Casey-USA TODAY Sports

UNC Basketball: Is Carolina's Game Against Virginia a Must Win?

After failing to earn a big signature win over Miami & Duke this past week, North Carolina certainly didn’t help their NCAA Tournament chances.

Now the Tar Heels must find a way to go on a win streak to hang on to any chance they have at the tournament. The process starts today against Virginia, who previously beat North Carolina to open up ACC Conference play in January.

Carolina currently sits at 16-8 and 6-5 in conference play with seven games left on their schedule plus the ACC Tournament. In a mock selection process done at the NCAA headquarters Thursday & Friday, Carolina was left out of the field.

That means the Tar Heels have some work to do.

With only one game remaining against a ranked team (vs. Duke), the signature wins aren’t left on their schedule.

They do have the chance to put together a nice win streak and add some impressive wins to their resume. North Carolina State at home and winning all three road games left could boost the Tar Heels chances.

Of course if they win out, they should get in. I don’t see that happening however.

I look at it this way. If Carolina can win five or six of their remaining games and at least one tournament victory, they should get in. Anything less than that could spell trouble for their hopes.

They also could win the ACC Tournament, but that would require beating Duke and or Miami in the tournament. A good showing in the tournament, which would be two or three wins, would help their chances.

While Selection Sunday is still a few weeks away, it feels like it’s coming quickly for Carolina.

That’s why today’s game against Virginia is almost a must win. The bottom line is Carolina can’t afford three straight losses, let alone a loss at home. It’s too late in the season and their chances are too slim for a slip-up.

They need a win streak, and they need one now.

Beating Virginia would be a great start.

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Tags: NCAA Tournament North Carolina Tar Heels Virginia Cavailiers

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