Where: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
When: Tuesday, December 22nd, 7:00 PM
TV: Fox Sports South
Live Stats: SCACC Hoops
Records: UNC 8-3; Marshall 9-1
The Heels look to bounce back from the loss vs Texas kicking off a stretch of high sugar, white flour desserts(insert Will Graves joke here)
On paper I am wary of playing any team that is 9-1. In theory Marshall winning nine of their first ten games means something. On the surface it means they know how to win. That is until you look at their schedule and realize they played teams like Salem International and Brescia. Who? Are these teams even in this country? The lack of a link on ESPN.com for either of those teams leads me to believe they are DII schools so call the Thundering Herd 7-1 instead with zero wins over anyone who matters. Which does not give UNC license to disrespect Marshall or treat this game lightly. Rather it is a reminder of the present reality which points to Marshall not being a very good team despite the record.
And because Marshall has the pair of ultra cupcakes on the schedule, their stats are worthless such as their 85 ppg which is actually 78 ppg if you toss out the two local community colleges or whatever the heck they are.
What can we expect from UNC? I really don't know. I do know they have practiced for two days since the Texas game and there is a good chance Roy worked them fairly hard during those sessions. Obviously, if Marshall is as weak an opponent as I think they will be the value in this game is somewhat muted. As such, this will be your routine December "get some confidence and for the love of Dean Smith no one get injured." We didn't used to think about that last part so much but then Bobby Frasor blew out his knee against Nevada so we think about it all the time.
If I could make a wish list I would love to see more of the Wears and Dexter Strickland. I have a nice idea of what everyone else can bring but getting more time and effort out of those three players in particular would be a judicious use of a game of this nature. And who knows maybe Will Graves figures out a thing or two here.
UNC 92 Marshall 66