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Virginia vs. Texas-Pan American preview

Tuesday's Virginia-Texas-Pan American is not exactly can't-miss television. In fact, it's not even on television. The Broncs are 1-14 and do not appear to pose much threat to the Cavaliers. Nonetheless, it's an important game for Virginia, and here's why...

Final game before ACC begins: Virginia visits North Carolina State on Saturday to begin the ACC schedule, meaning Tuesday is the final chance to see what the Cavaliers have before the games become more important. They have shown considerable progress in the past few weeks, and a passionate effort will carry momentum into Saturday. If the team comes out flat, it will be a sour note before the Wolfpack.

Another game for Mike Scott: Virginia power forward Mike Scott continues his recovery from a high ankle sprain, and Coach Tony Bennett is still unsure whether Scott will rejoin the starting lineup. Scott contributed in the Cavaliers' victory over then-No. 24 Alabama-Birmingham last week, and it's clear that the team is different when he's on the court. One more game could provide the in-game comfort Scott needs. Remember, Virginia is almost one week away from playing Georgia Tech's impressive front line.

Who's in the backcourt?: This much we know: Sylven Landesberg and Sammy Zeglinski are regulars for Virginia. But Calvin Baker, Jontel Evans, Mustapha Farrakhan and Jeff Jones have all had individual performances that have pleased Bennett. Each have their faults, too. You can expect regular minutes from Evans, who is clearly the team's best backcourt defender. Farrakhan is coming off a few good games, and Baker provides leadership and direction that Bennett appreciates. Jones could be best scorer out of the group, yet his inconsistency is reflected in his minutes.

By Zach Berman  |  January 5, 2010; 1:19 PM ET
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