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State/Carolina: Because We Have To

The battle for suckpremacy is upon us.  Who will be out-lamed?  Will the Wolfpack build on their tenuous half-game grasp of last place, or will they succumb to victory?


UNC Offense OFF_EFF eFG% TO% OR% FTR 2FG% 3FG%
vs. ACC 97.2 (11) 46.0 (9) 22.5 (11) 37.9 (4) 34.0 (8) 45.1 (11) 29.1 (9)
vs. NCSU 116.1 56.1 15.1 33.3 38.6 52.2 46.2


State's offense took a lengthy nap in the second half of the first meeting, which helped Carolina put the game away.  But the Pack's game-long nap at the defensive end had as much to do with their demise as any of their panicked possessions at the other end.

The Heels have struggled to score against conference foes, averaging a point per possession or less in seven of nine games.  Like State, they have just a pair of good performances to their credit, performances that allowed for their only wins in conference play.  Nice of us to help out.

Change Or Perish

NC State's inability to make the Tar Heels take difficult shots was the main problem, but the Wolfpack also lost the rebounding battle and failed to turn the Heels over.  NC State has got to force more turnovers on Saturday, as doing so means it is less likely that Carolina's strong offensive rebounding will be a decisive factor in the outcome.

In addition to Ty Zeller, Ed Davis and Travis Wear will be sidelined with injuries.  Those casualties severely limit Roy Williams' front court options and, barring another career night from Deon Thompson, it's a pretty good bet that the Heels will not enjoy the same level of success in the paint this time around.  But, again, we've got to make that matter.  Davis and Wear are two more excellent offensive rebounders that we won't have to worry about, so that's good.  Maybe that'll help us get the rebounding edge back. 

Take care of the turnover and rebounding factors, throw in a more typical shooting night from the Heels, and we'll have a chance.  Those things require a good effort, though.  I'm not sure we're capable of inspired play anymore.  The Pomeroy Predictor likes UNC by six.