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Men's Basketball

UVa opponent preview: Columbia

After scoring 63 points in each of their first two games this season, both of which were 65-63 losses, Columbia got their first win of the season against Binghamton on Wednesday night. That contest, a 75-63 win for the Lions, also pitted the losing team with a 63-point effort. Columbia has shot 41% from the field so far this season but will need a stronger showing if they intend on being the first team to score more than 40 points against a stingy Virginia defense. The Lions knocked down 11 three-pointers in their win over Binghamton with five different players recording at least one make from deep. The Lions got a boost from freshman guard Jack Forrest off of the bench as he knocked down four triples, and will likely need another strong game out of him. UVa will be the second ACC opponent Columbia has faced already this season as they came up just short in Winston-Salem last week against Wake Forest. Mike Smith leads the Lions at the guard position as he is averaging over 21 points per game. The senior will be a good matchup for Kihei Clark as both guards stand shorter than six feet tall. Virginia will once again have the size advantage against Columbia and enter the game averaging more than 14 more rebounds per game than the Lions. 

Why Columbia will win: The Lions become the first team to figure out Virginia’s defense and follow up an 11 three-point outing with much of the same. In doing so, Columbia also plays well on the defensive end and holds the Cavaliers to another poor outside shooting performance. 

Why Virginia will win: Shots start falling for UVa from the outside after beginning the season 8-50 from beyond the arc. The defense remains solid and limits an undersized Columbia team’s outside shooting and once again outrebound their opponent on their way to another double-digit win to start the season. 

Check out Episode 2 of The Locker Room Access podcast with Mark Jerome featuring the Guy family, Kirk Penney, Justin Maxey, Matt Palumbo, and Jared Czech!

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