The UVa men's basketball team has won three straight since dropping back to back games earlier in the month, and they've won those games by an average of 16 points. After getting off to a 1-2 start in the ACC, the Cavaliers say they stepped up their focus.
"We've challenged them as a coaching staff in practice to be focused, and practices have been pretty rugged," said head coach Tony Bennett. "We've tried to challenge them and make it very competitive and important for us, and I think the guys have understood that. When it's been time to tip the ball, they've responded."
Tuesday's matchup with 19th-ranked NC State will feature a clash of playing styles. UVa's scoring defense is second in the country, with the Cavaliers giving up just 51.1 points per game. North Carolina State scores 79.8 points per game, the sixth highest average in the country. The Wolfpack is coming off a 91-83 win over North Carolina on Saturday.
"It's predominantly the same team as last year, they've added some nice pieces," Bennett says of the 19th ranked Wolfpack. "They do have a couple of very talented younger players. They're just a complete team that has experience and will require a high level of performance on our part."
The 'Hoos will be looking to extend their overall winning streak on Tuesday and also their home winning streak. They've won 11 straight games at John Paul Jones Arena, with their last loss coming back on Nov. 13 against Delaware.