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NIT: #4 UNC at #1 Mississippi St.

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Where: Humphrey Arena, Starksville, MS
When: Saturday, March 20th, 12:00 PM
Records: UNC 17-16, MSU 24-11

This really could be it and to be honest that might be just as well. On paper this game does not bode well for UNC. Mississippi St not only has a great interior player in Jarvis Varnardo but shoots the three extremely well. As a team the Bulldogs shoot 35% from beyond the arc on an average of 25 attempts per game. The bulk of the perimeter shooting comes from four players led by Ravern Johnson at 40%. Johnson, Varnardo and guard Dee Bost all average 13 ppg making the MSU offense very balanced.

UNC facing a team that has solid interior play and shoots the three extremely well is probably the worst match-up possible. Not to mention UNC is not a good road team. Not to mention the hotels in Starksville apparently suck if the players' Twitter feeds are any indication. The latter really does not matter but the prior points do. This will be a tough win to get given MSU's strengths. However, the Heels could still find a way if Deon Thompson and Marcus Ginyard continued to raise their level of play. Dexter Strickland had more confidence Tuesday night and Larry Drew appeared to be in greater command of the offense. UNC will also need Will Graves to shake the road game shooting issues to give the Heels a boost in this one. It is also important to remember that if MSU were consistent they might be the NCAAs instead. This is a team capable of losing a game they should not despite the good showings vs Kentucky.

It should be noted that this it the first time UNC has traveled to the state of Mississippi for a game. Hopefully it will be the last.

MSU 74 UNC 65