CHAPEL HILL, N.C. -- North Carolina appeared to steal some of Virginia's game plan, turning an expected showdown into a romp Saturday night.
It's often Virginia that stumps opponents with defense, but this time it was the Tar Heels.
Justin Jackson scored 20 points and No. 10 North Carolina dominated most of the game in a 65-41 victory against No. 14 Virginia at the Smith Center.
"Defensively, I think we were locked in from the jump," Jackson said.
Kennedy Meeks scored all 13 of his points in the second half for first-place North Carolina (23-5, 11-3 Atlantic Coast Conference). Isaiah Hicks finished with 10 points.
Virginia's point total marked the fewest ever scored against a Roy Williams-coached North Carolina team.
"I have the utmost respect for (Virginia coach Tony Bennett) and I've never seen his team miss that many shots," Williams said. "It just goes back to that the ball didn't go in the basket for them."
Marial Shayok's 13 points and London Perrantes' 12 points paced Virginia (18-8, 8-6), which has its first three-game losing streak since 2011.
"Tonight, we weren't even close," Bennett said.
Jackson was 4-for-8 on 3-pointers and the Tar Heels pulled away despite rarely going to the free-throw line. They were 4-for-7 on foul shots in the game.
"The guys got me the ball when I was open," Jackson said.
Virginia missed its first 17 attempts from 3-point range, finishing 2-for-20 from beyond the arc.
"We made more shots than they did, but I don't know if we covered them better than they covered us," Williams said. "I don't think we were as good as the statistics will look like."
Virginia shot 27.8 percent (15-for-54) from the field in stumbling to the second-lowest point total under Bennett.
Virginia's four ACC road victories are tied for the most in the league this season, but the Cavaliers have dropped two away from home in a seven-day span.
"You've got to be real good in all areas -- home and away -- to come out with victories in this league," Bennett said. "If you're a little off, teams will make you pay. ... This is the most alive I've felt this place since I've been here."
North Carolina extended its lead to 44-27 early in the second half, putting Virginia in its largest deficit of the season. The Cavaliers shot 2-for-11 from the field in the opening eight minutes of the second half.
North Carolina led by as many as 16 points before taking a 34-22 lead at the break after Perrantes scored the last four points of the half. He also tallied the first points of the second half on a three-point play.
Jackson had 18 points in the first half, though no other player on the team had more than five.
"Needless to say, Justin was our whole offense in the first half," Williams said.
The Tar Heels began to take control when rebounding started to tilt in their favor. During one stretch of the first half, they pulled in 10 of a possible 13 rebounds.
Virginia center Jack Salt had three first-half fouls, adding to the Cavaliers woes in the interior.
North Carolina finished with a 44-26 edge on the boards.
-- These teams meet again Feb. 27 at Charlottesville, Va.
-- Virginia entered Saturday night having won the last three regular-season games against North Carolina, which topped the Cavaliers the past two seasons in the ACC Tournament.
-- Virginia is 3-5 against ranked teams this season.
-- Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson, who finished their North Carolina careers last year, had their numbers officially honored (not retired) during a halftime ceremony.
-- Virginia is back in action Monday night against visiting Miami for its fourth game in nine days.
-- North Carolina plays another ranked team Wednesday night when Louisville visits.