|(Robert Willett/Raleigh News & Observer)|
Strickland, a junior from Rahway, N.J., suffered the injury early in the second half in Blacksburg as he drove to the basket.
He started every game this year for the 16-3 Tar Heels and shared the team lead in steals with 25 and was second in assists with 39. He was shooting a team-high 57 percent from the floor and was averaging 7.5 points per game.
Strickland is regarded as UNC's best perimeter defender. He also has filled in at point guard at times this season for Kendall Marshall, who was averaging 30.9 minutes of playing time entering Thursday night. Marshall played 37 minutes against Virginia Tech given Strickland's first-half foul trouble and, later, his injury.
Surgery to repair the torn ligament has not been scheduled.