Preview: UNC vs. Texas

Here’s to hoping the Heels’ aren’t too exhausted after a week of exams to match-up against a defensive-minded Rick Barnes team. Roy was sure to lay into the Boys on their week off after giving up a lead against an over-matched Long Beach State. The week off may have helped some of the team though. Harrison Barnes, who tied a (short) career high of 19 versus LBSU can only benefit from a break in the schedule. The way the frosh has been playing, you can tell he’s been hearing all the critics. After getting into a rhythm last game he may have had a more relaxing week off. If I was Texas, I’d be scared.

  • UNC may have lost last year’s game in Cowboys Stadium, but they do have history on their side at Greensboro Coliseum. Last time the Longhorns played in Greensboro was the 2009 NCAA tourney where they lost in the 2nd round to another ACC team. Yeah, it was Dook, but let’s keep that on the DL.
  • The Heels will have its hands full in the post. Texas is 7th in the nation in rebounds per game (43.1). UNC isn’t far behind at 16 (42.1), but second chance points have hurt the Heels all season and this is a team that can do just that.
  • Leading scorer 6’8″ Jordan Hamilton, right, is a dangerous forward averaging over 18 ppg. He also pulls down almost seven rebounds per and is second on the team in assists. Texas is by no means tall, but with Hamilton, 6’6″ Gary Johnson and 6’8″ Thompson crashing the boards and moving outside the paint, it could be a match-up problem for UNC. Lucky UNC has two very mobile bigs in Tyler Zeller and John Henson.
  • Surprisingly, UNC betters Texas in FG percentage by almost 20 points. Carolina has yet to prove they have a solid outside game though and Texas is forcing opponents to shoot just 35.6 FG percentage and 28 percent from three. UNC will definitely need to get the ball down low for high percentage looks and drives to the basket.
  • Texas has beaten an Illinois team that took down the Heels, albeit on a neutral court and in overtime. They have lost to an excellent Pitt Panther squad and USC, the Cali one. USC was definitely an upset and could be a good omen as former Heel Alex Stepheson had 14 points and 11 rebounds.

This will be no cake walk, but the Heels should be able to win with its true bigs and “neutral” floor advantage.

Prediction: UNC 68, Texas 62