When: Wednesday 7:00pm
Where: Chapel Hill, NC
How to Watch: ESPN2
Well it's been a disappointing season so far, but there is still a lot of season left with the entire conference slate on the dock. Unfortunately, the ACC is arguably the toughest conference in the country and will bring with it many more losses. Clemson has yet to win on the road this year, and being shocked would be an understatement if they were to pull a win out in Chapel Hill, that place we've never won before: a fact we will most certainly be reminded of throughout the game by the commentators.
Meet UNC: North Carolina started out the season as the pre-season #1 team in the country, but dropped some unexpected games to Northern Iowa and Texas. UNC also played the first part of the year without All-American candidate and Point Guard Marcus Paige most likely effected chemistry. Even with the two losses, they have great wins against Maryland and UCLA. UNC is definitely a title contender this year and will bring a lot of firepower into this game with Paige and big man Brice Johnson leading the charge. Johnson has taken a big step this year leading the team in scoring at 16 points a game and rebounding at 9 a game.
Fortunately for Clemson, big man Kennedy Meeks is expected to still be out with a bone bruise, but UNC's depth will limit the effect of the loss of Meeks for the game. UNC has plenty of shooters, gets up and down the court quickly, and scores a ton of points. UNC leads the country in KenPom's adjusted offensive efficiency statistic which basically just indicates UNC has one of the best offenses in the country.
Preview: There's not a ton to say here. Even if Clemson has a fantastic offensive game like they did against Minnesota earlier this season, the defense will probably continue to be a problem as it has been for much of the year which is a disappointing development for a Brad Brownell-coached team. Expect Clemson to have an incredibly tough time matching up defensively with UNC's offensive talent and UNC to put up a lot of points on the Tigers. KenPom gives the Tigers a 9% chance of winning at UNC. I think that's a little optimistic. I know most believe there are no such things as moral victories, but a close game against UNC in Chapel Hill may actually be one.