Carolina returns to the road in ACC play when it travels to Pittsburgh for its ninth conference game of the season on Tuesday, January 26. Game time is 7 p.m. Carolina is 10-5 overall and 5-3 in the ACC after winning home games last week against Wake Forest (80-73) and NC State (86-76). Those wins were the first this season in which UNC scored 80-plus points in consecutive games. Pittsburgh is 8-3 overall and 4-2 in ACC play. The Panthers are 3-1 since New Year’s, beating Syracuse twice and Duke and losing by a point at Wake Forest on January 23.
The game features four of the top five offensive rebounders in the ACC. Carolina freshman Day’Ron Sharpe and Pitt’s Justin Champagnie are tied for first (3.3 per game), Armando Bacot is third (3.1) and Pitt’s Au’Diese Toney is fifth (2.8).
- Carolina is averaging 80.5 points over its last four games (74.5 for the season).
- The Tar Heels have shot 50 percent from the floor in each of the last three halves. Those were the first halves in which UNC shot 50 percent since the first half at NC State on December 22.
- Over the last three games, the Tar Heels have scored 241 points on 258 possessions, a point per possession of .93. That included 75 points on 82 possessions at Florida State (.91), 80 points on 86 possessions vs. Wake Forest (.93) and 86 points on 90 possessions (.96) against NC State. Those are the only three games this season UNC has registered a PPP of .90 or better.
- Freshmen (including red-shirt freshman Anthony Harris) have scored 53.9 percent of Carolina’s points this season.
- Saturday’s win over NC State marked the first time four freshmen scored in double figures since 2007 and set a record for most points in a UNC game by freshmen. Day’Ron Sharpe (16), Caleb Love (15), RJ Davis (10), Anthony Harris (10), Kerwin Walton (8) and Walker Kessler (2) combined for 61 points.
- Carolina’s first seven ACC games marked the first time UNC ever played seven consecutive ACC games decided by seven or fewer points.
- Pitt ranks second in the ACC (15th nationally) in offensive rebounds (13.6 orpg.) and offensive rebound percentage (.353). The Panthers have a +81 scoring margin in second chance points. North Carolina leads the country in offensive rebounds (15.8 orpg.).
- The Panthers lead the ACC and ranks 19th in the NCAA in three-point field goal defense (.285). Pitt had held ACC opponents to 24.5 percent (32-of-130) shooting from beyond the three-point arc prior to Wake Forest going 15-of-32 (.469) from three-point range on Saturday.
- Pitt, ranked third in the ACC in assists (16.0 apg.), has recorded 20 or more assists in two of the past three games. The Panthers have assisted on 69.5 percent (57-of-82) of their made field goals in the past three games.
- Justin Champagnie, Xavier Johnson and Au’Diese Toney combine to average 50.4 points, 23.3 rebounds and 10.4 assists per game. The trio has registered 26 double-figure scoring games, including 11 games with 20 or more points scored.
- Justin Champagnie has posted five games with 20+ points and 10+ rebounds, including a 31-point, 14-rebound effort in Tuesday’s win over Duke. He ranks second in the NCAA in rebounds (13.0 rpg.), 18th in double-doubles (5) and 31st in scoring (20.3 ppg.).
- Xavier Johnson is one of two players in the ACC averaging at least 14.0 points, 4.0 rebounds and 4.0 assists per game. He leads the ACC in assists (6.3 apg.) and has recorded seven or more assists in each of the past four games.
UNC vs Pitt:
- Carolina is 14-5 against Pittsburgh, including 7-4 since the Panthers joined the ACC prior to the 2013-14 season.
- Carolina is 5-2 at Pittsburgh – 1-0 at Fitzgerald Fieldhouse, 2-0 at the Civic Arena and 2-2 at the Petersen Center.
- Roy Williams is 7-4 against the Panthers as UNC’s head coach and 8-4 overall.
- Pittsburgh has won two in a row. The Panthers have never beaten UNC three straight games.
- UNC’s current two-game losing streak to Pittsburgh followed a six-game winning streak for the Tar Heels.
How to Watch:
TV: ACC Network (Dave O’Brien, Cory Alexander))
Stream: Watch ESPN
Radio: Tar Heel Sports Properties (Jones Angell, Eric Montross, Adam Lucas)