The last time these two met was during the second round of last season’s ACC Tournament in Greensboro. The Cuse ended the Tar Heels’ season with a 28-point thumping – ending any hope of the Heels making the NCAA tournament, which consequently, never happened to begin with.
Controlling the boards versus the matchup zone will be paramount. Syracuse allows teams to grab nearly 30 percent of their misses. If this trend carries into Tuesday’s showdown in the Dean Dome, Day’ron Sharpe, Armando Bacot, and Garrison Brooks will have a field day inside the paint getting the Heels second chance points – something the Heels have relied on heavily this season. If the Orange want to leave Chapel Hill with the W, they have to box out and deny multiple possessions.
Finding the marksman and midrange area are always key in beating the zone. The Heels this year have yet to find Garrison Brooks within the 10-15 foot area, due vastly to teams packing the paint and forcing UNC to shoot from outside. In fact, every opponent that UNC has faced this season has played zone against the Heels. Why? It’s no secret UNC has arguably the biggest front court, not just in the ACC, but all of America. Matchup zone teams struggle to rebound out of the 2-3. Kerwin Walton, due to his precise and effective shooting, leads the Heels from downtown – averaging 48 percent from deep. The writing is on the wall, which is why Roy Williams has implemented him into the starting lineup the last several games.
Stopping Quincy Guerrier, the sophomore “Mr. Do it All” for the Orange will be key. Guerrier is leading the team in points, rebounds, and tied for 3-point percentage at 42.9. What’s staggering is that Quincy is shooting nearly 60 percent from the field, but with how balanced Syracuse plays, he’s only the 4th most used player in the lineup indicating efficiency.
Tip-off tonight is at 9 PM on the ACC Network.