for this game

No. 5 North Carolina could use break against Virginia Tech

Feb 16, 2008 - 11:28 AM Virginia Tech (14-10) at No. 5 North Carolina (23-2) 1:00 pm EST

CHAPEL HILL, North Carolina (Ticker) - The last few games haven't come easily for No. 5 North Carolina.

The Tar Heels (23-2, 8-2 Atlantic Coast Conference) will attempt to stay within striking distance of Duke in the conference race when they host Virginia Tech (14-10, 5-5) on Saturday.

The Hokies recorded a pair of wins over North Carolina a year ago.

The Tar Heels are coming off a double-overtime win over Clemson and a one-point win at Virginia.

"It makes us tougher," said North Carolina's Tyler Hansbrough, whose baby hook with 21 seconds to play against the Cavaliers were the Tar Heels' final points of the game.

Hansbrough, a junior forward, leads North Carolina at 22.8 points and 10.7 rebounds per game. The Tar Heels are 10-2 at home this season.

The Hokies (14-10, 5-5) have lost straight games, including a 74-71 loss to Miami last Saturday. Junior A.D. Vassallo, a 6-foot-6 guard, leads Virginia Tech with 16.3 points per game.

Virginia Tech, which is 5-25 all-time at North Carolina, is 3-1 in its last four games against teams ranked in the top five.