Preview: UNC vs. Miami

It’s been eight days since the Boys hit the court and let’s hope they haven’t forgotten how to play before taking on the Hurricanes in Coral Gables. Both squads have been in the habit of playing close games as of late. You obviously know how the Heels have been playing, but did you know Miami has lost four of its last five, including its last two by a combined four points. And its last win was by one over BC. But this is the 2010-’11 edition of the ACC, so you never know what team is going to show up. On either side of the ball. Home teams seem to have had the advantage, but after the Heels’ bumpy flight on the way to the U, let’s hope they play inspired on the road.

  • Last time these teams met the Heels were victorious in Chapel Hill for last year’s Senior Night. The bright spot for the Hurricanes though was then-frosh Durand Scott, right, who lit up UNC for 29 points. Also, the Hurricanes had a 12-0 run in the second half last year and got within one point in the final minutes before Carolina finally pulled away.
  • The W last season for the Heels was also the program’s 2,000th win. Fun fact: the University of Miami basketball program has yet to play 2,000 games.
  • Malcolm Grant joins the backcourt with Scott and may be even more dangerous. The junior averages more points (15.7) and assists (3.7) per game than does Scott.
  • Miami has another double figure scorer in Reggie Johnson. Standing at 6’10”, the sophomore puts in more than 12 a game, but is the only threat in the blocks for Miami. Tyler Zeller and John Henson should be able to do damage, assuming they get the ball on the offensive end.
  • On the topic of Johnson, the center hails from Winston-Salem and is one of three NCers on the Hurricanes’ roster. Miami has a history of digging talent out of Carolina. If you remember, current New Orleans Saints TE Jimmy Graham played for Miami until 2009. Graham is from Goldsboro.
  • Here’s something to feel good about: UNC is currently ranked first nationally in rebounds per game at 42.4 per contest. Yay.

If Carolina can exploit the Hurricanes’ weakness in the post than it should be a good night. If they somehow forget how to utilize an entry pass though, its another story. Miami does have that guard combo though, and the last time UNC went on the road in the ACC it was almost outscored by its opponent’s backcourt alone.

Prediction: UNC 77, Miami 73