Where: Alexander Memorial Coliseum, Atlanta, GA
When: Tuesday, February 16th, 9:00 PM
TV: Raycom, ESPN360
Live Stats: SCACC Hoops
Records: UNC 14-11, 3-7 ACC; GT 17-8, 5-6 ACC
As Doc pointed out, UNC is operating with an extremely thin margin of error but still has a chance to make some noise. With six games left the shortest route to NCAA viability would be to run the table or at least go 5-1. Finishing 4-2 with a 7-9 ACC mark probably puts them out of the field unless they win at least two ACC Tournament games. Even then, according to CollegeRPI's Jerry Palm this morning, that may not be enough since UNC is 11-11 versus the top 200. Since that is the situation with road games at Wake Forest and Duke looming, this game in Atlanta is an ideal one to steal in order to create some momentum. There are two major hurdles to overcome. The first is UNC plays like crap in Atlanta. Always has. The only win they have seen there in forever was in 2008 requiring some fingernail scraping hanging on to get the win(and yes the ball may have touched Danny Green before going out of bounds.) The other issue is UNC is playing an talent laden interior team with Deon Thompson, David Wear and John Henson. Not having Ed Davis, Tyler Zeller and Travis Wear hurts when playing a team like Georgia Tech. That being said what killed UNC in the first matchup was the Yellow Jacket guard play. Still not having Davis is going to make life tougher on the boards.
The hope we are all clinging to right now is that the settled eight man rotation Roy Williams is being forced to use to due to injury will result in better production, especially from Henson but also from Leslie McDonald and from Will Graves at the four spot where he seems to be a better defender and rebounder than Thompson. There is also the feeling that this team might be finally figuring some things out if efforts versus Virginia Tech, Duke and NCSU are an indication. Or you can take the effort against Maryland and conclude they are still the same team. I prefer to think that maybe, just maybe, these guys muster enough confidence while catching a few breaks such as GT having a crappy shooting night or something to give them a win here.
Anyway, there will be super crazy liveblogging action tonight with me making snarky comments about the Olympics during commercials and at halftime.
No prediction because I have no basis to make one.