UNC at VT: Preview, broadcast info, prediction and more


UNC heads back on the road for a Monday Atlantic Coast Conference game in Blacksburg, Virginia

The North Carolina Tar Heels are back on track.

After dropping two-straight road games to open Atlantic Coast Conference play at 1-2, the Tar Heels have won four-straight games. That includes a one-point win on the road at Notre Dame a week ago.

Now they are back on the road in Blacksburg, Virginia to take on the Virginia Tech Hokies in a short turnaround for both teams.

UNC beat Georgia Tech in the Dean E. Smith Center on Saturday, while the Hokies dropped their second-straight game losing to Florida State.

The Hokies are hoping to avoid losing three-straight and falling to 2-5 in conference play.

Meanwhile, UNC hopes to keep rolling and keep pace with Louisville, Duke, and Clemson who all are behind Virginia.

The game will also mark the first of three in an eight-game span for the Tar Heels, going on the road against the Hokies, hosting NC State and then going to South Carolina to take on Clemson.

For UNC, they hope to continue the consistency of playing well and earning ACC wins.

The Tar Heels have looked impressive at times against both Clemson and Georgia Tech, and were able to put those two teams away late in the second half. Hopefully, they can get ahead on the road early and not have to worry about a potential Hokies upset.

Here’s what you need to know about the game:

One Virginia Tech player to watch…

Kerry Blackshear Jr. is a 6-foot-10 forward that could give the Tar Heels some fits in Monday night’s game.

The Orlando, Florida native is not only averaging 13.4 points per game, third-most on the team, but he’s also shooting 48 percent from the three-point line. That’s tied for a team-high with Ahmed Hill.

Blackshear Jr. is shooting 62 percent from the field and is averaging 23.5 minutes per game this season.

He will likely draw a matchup with Cameron Johnson or Theo Pinson in the game.

One UNC player to watch…

Joel Berry has really struggled the past few games shooting the basketball.

The point guard has scored in double-digit points in the last four games but a lot has come from the three-point line or free throw line.

Berry finished with 17 points against the Yellow Jackets with nine of those points coming from the free throw line. He was just 3-of-17 against the Yellow Jackets from the field and 4-of-12 in the win over the Clemson Tigers.

With him struggling shooting the ball, he’s still found ways to contribute in the offense.

The Tar Heels might need Berry to be better against the Hokies in a tough road environment. Look for him to show up in a big way.

One key..


The Tar Heels are second in the nation averaging 43.5 rebounds per game and they dominated the offensive glass in their win over Georgia Tech. The Hokies enter the game ranked 238th in the nation averaging 34.6 rebounds per game.

In the loss to Florida State on Saturday the Hokies had just 25 rebounds total with only five being on the offensive end.

UNC should control the glass in this one but if the Hokies can keep that rebounding margin close, they have a shot.

Next: What does Zion Williamson's decision mean for UNC?

What you need to know

WHAT? North Carolina 16-4 (5-2 ACC) at Virginia Tech 13-6 (2-4 ACC)
WHEN? Monday, January 22 at 7:00 p.m. ET
WHERE? Cassell Coliseum in Blacksburg, Virginia
RADIO? Tar Heel Sports Network
ALL-TIME SERIES? UNC leads 67-13
PREDICTION? UNC 75, Virginia Tech 69