Clemson

UNC heads to a hostile arena to meet a surging opponent with a whole lot of hate for them, and it will probably be one of the more difficult games of the year.

Some days, it's really tempting to just reprint stuff from last year, pop open a beer, and call it a day. Oliver Purnell's team has once again ridden their non-conference schedule into the Top 25. The last three years they've taken records of 11-2, 14-0 and now 12-1 in the conference season, and yet they never break 0.500 in conference play. This year's schedule is a little tougher, with four SEC schools but everyone's still waiting for the collapse to begin.

The Tigers aren't quite the rebounding force they were last year, but then again James Mays missed four games with an ankle sprain, and he's back to full strength. They've kept up their turnover-generating skills despite the new backcourt, but don't launch threes nearly as often as previous Purnell teams have. (Not coincidentally, they're making more shots behind the arc by taking better shots.)

Clemson is very good on paper, as they were last year, when UNC blew them out by 22. The Heels frontcourt should be able to take on all comers, and match up well to all of the Tigers' strengths. Don't expect the same margin of victory, but Carolina should be able to win.

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