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Taking stock of Virginia's talent

Although it's true that the cupboard was more stacked than many anticipated entering the season -- Virginia has five ACC wins and was picked to finished No. 11 entering the season -- the past two weeks are evidence that the Cavaliers still do not have the talent of the top teams in the ACC.

Of Virginia's five ACC wins, two were against North Carolina State, one was against North Carolina and one came against Miami. These are three of the teams on the bottom of the conference, even if the Tar Heels have heralded talent. The Cavaliers beat a talented Georgia Tech squad, but it's still clear Virginia's talent pales in comparison to some of its league rivals.

Coach Tony Bennett knew that defense could be an equalizer, but that has fallen behind in the past two weeks. Hence the downward slide of the Cavaliers.

"That's part of knowing, this is who we are as a team," Bennett said. "That's why you got to work. You got to be so solid on both ends. That's our chance. And there's no shame in that. That's where we're at, and when it slips, it's really hard."

Looking at the remaining schedule (@ Miami, vs. Duke, @ Boston College, vs. Maryland), there are no clear wins on the schedules. So, Virginia needs to either rediscover what worked before this slide or suffer the same feat as the past two weeks.

"We're limited," Bennett said. "And that's not a defeatist attitude. We just don't have a lot of scoring punch. And then when the defense lies, that's what happens."

By Zach Berman  |  February 22, 2010; 10:36 AM ET
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Next: Balancing offense vs. defense in the starting lineup

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