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KSRBEvans

A Tempo-Free Look at North Carolina

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This game should be a fast-paced affair. Both teams like to play quickly; UK's average possession length is 15.7 seconds, 35th nationally, and UNC's is 15.9 seconds, 45th in the country. Transition D will be a key for both teams.

This will be a game between 2 of the nation's tallest teams. UK is 4th nationally in Effective Height, or average height weighted by minutes played. UNC is 15th in Effective Height.

North Carolina on Offense:
--UNC is 16th nationally in Offensive Efficiency, scoring 1.14 pts/possession.

--UNC makes its hay with 2nd chance baskets. The Tar Heels are a mediocre 149th nationally in Effective FG% at 50.1%, but 34th nationally in Offensive Rebound%, grabbing 38% of their own misses.

--UNC is 95th nationally in 2-pt FG% and gets nearly 2/3rds of their points from inside the arc, 2nd nationally. This will be an interesting matchup with UK, which is surrendering only 38% to opponents from 2, 2nd nationally.

--UNC is a poor 296th nationally in 3-pt FG%, hitting only 29.5% from behind the arc. UNC has only 1 player hitting better than the NCAA average of 34% from 3: 6-1 guard Marcus Paige (.392). In its last 3 games, UNC has shot 4/29 (13.8%) from 3. Yes, this could be the game the Heels break out, but one has to think that every UNC possession that ends in a 3-pt FGA is a good one for UK.

--Everyone knows about UK's struggles from the FT line this season, but UNC is even worse. The Tar Heels are hitting only 61.8% from the line, 329th nationally. UNC has hit only 59% from the line in its last 3 games.

North Carolina on Defense:
--North Carolina historically has a reputation for being a little soft on defense and winning with offense. That is not the case with this year's version of the Tar Heels. UNC is a good team offensively but has one of the nation's elite defenses, ranking 8th in Defensive Efficiency at 0.93 PPP allowed.

--Of the 4 factors contributing most to Defensive Efficiency, UNC is very good at 3 of them. The Heels are 62nd nationally in Defensive Rebound%, 36th nationally in turnover% and 31st nationally in Effective FG%, allowing opponents to shoot only .441.

--UNC opponents shoot 31.6% from 3 and only 41.8% from 2. That gives the Heels the nation's #22 2-pt FG% D. Probably because UNC's 2-pt D has been so strong, UNC opponents have attempted 42% of their FGAs from 3, 13th-most in the country.

Key Matchup: Transition D and UK Defensive Rebounding. UNC will push tempo, and once its in the half-court it lives off the offensive rebound. UK must find a way to continue its strong offensive rebounding while limiting UNC's transition opportunities. Once in its half-court D, UK has to improve its defensive rebounding and limit UNC to 1 shot as often as possible.

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Updated 12-14-2013 at 02:51 PM by KSRBEvans

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