Where: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
When: Tuesday, December 21st, 7:00 PM
TV: ESPN2 ESPNU
Records: UNC 7-4, W&M 4-6
First of all, this game has been bumped from ESPN2 to ESPNU. Why? Because folks at ESPN are operating under the assumption that people give more of a crap about the UConn women attempting to win their 89th game in a row which would surpass the UCLA men of the John Wooden Era. Yes, my implication they are equating the two even though they claim they are apples and oranges. Now, this has little to do with UNC's current downturn though one could argue if UNC were #1 in the country, ESPN probably at least thinks twice about making the switch. In reality, ESPN is the most prominent promoter and broadcaster of college women's basketball so this is about promoting a product. Needless to say, those of us without ESPNU are mightily pissed, unless they keep it on ESPN3. But that would require the exercise of common sense so we know it isn't happening.
The Heels welcome William & Mary who were last seen in March playing against UNC in the first round of the NIT. The Tribe shot 43! three pointers of which they hit 16. UNC survived with 33 points from Deon Thompson and Tyler Zeller plus a raucous crowd in Carmichael Auditorium. Fortunately for the Tar Heels, most of the key components to that team graduated leaving gaping bloody holes in the Tribe offense. At present, William & Mary boasts only two players averaging in double figures, both returnees from last season. Quinn McDowell leads the Tribe in scoring at 14.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg, 1.9 apg and shoots 56% from three point range. Might want to put a body on him. The Tribe ranks 335th in the country in pace with a paltry 62.5 possessions per game. The Tribe also turn the ball over at an alarming rate of 26.8% which is quite possibly one of the worst in the country.
For UNC, this is a good game to bounce back from the loss to Texas, plays some solid defense, get into transition versus a team who has no desire to be there and put what happened Saturday behind them. Consistency has not been a strong suit for these Heels, especially against teams who are seem to be easier marks than others. Call it "playing down" syndrome I guess. Whatever the case, this should be an easy win for UNC providing they don't mimic the worst part of the Tribe's game.
UNC 90 W&M 58