North Carolina and Duke enter a new beginning tonight inside Cameron Indoor at 6:30 with the beginning of the Jon Scheyer vs Hubert Davis era.
Both teams present matchup problems for the other which include size, length, explosive wings, and most importantly, guard play.
North Carolina, wanting to shed the bad taste of a recent loss at home to Pittsburgh, would like nothing more than playing spoiler (yet again) in Jon Scheyer’s inaugural debut in the rivalry.
3 Keys to a North Carolina Win
North Carolina has only been outshot at the charity stripe once since the middle of December, which came on the road at Lousiville in a 21-point blow-out win. The Tar Heels have made a living at the free throw line and for Duke to stay contained, UNC will have to play disciplined and sound defense, paying special attention to guarding the pick-and-roll. This could prevent problems for the Blue Devils with Kyle Filipowski being asked to guard R.J. Davis and Caleb Love off the dribble.
Bacot vs Lively
Armando Bacot has made a living on the interior throughout his record-setting career and it shouldn’t stop in Cameron. Bacot’s ability to pin low in the paint could cause some serious issues for 7-foot freshman Derek Lively, who is second in the conference in blocks at two per game. If Lively gets into early foul trouble, Ryan Young and Kyle Filipowski will have a huge void to fill in the paint.
North Carolina, at times, falls in love with the three-ball. Against Pittsburgh Wednesday night the Heels shot just 18.5 % from deep. They were 6 of 16 against Syracuse (37.5%) and 4 of 18 against N.C. State (22%). North Carolina is most effective when playing inside-out, which forces opponents to double on the post – freeing up the shooters in Love, Davis, and Nance. The Tar Heels will have to get the ball inside first and not settle for threes in Saturday’s matchup.
If North Carolina follows this game plan, expect the Heels to be successful in Cameron.