Where: Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, MA
When: Tuesday, February 1st, 9:00 PM
TV: Raycom ACC Network
Records: UNC 15-5; 5-1 ACC; BC 14-7, 4-3 ACC
After a dominating performance at home, UNC is back on the road facing a tough test against an Eagles team which could be a match-up nightmare for the Heels. As a team UNC is facing the question of how legitimate the 5-1 ACC mark is and whether or not the debacle at Georgia Tech was simply a fluke. The next four games will certainly provide us the answer we are seeking as the Heels play three of four on the road and the home game is against current ACC top three Florida St. In other words the next four games will be educational when it comes to this team.
Boston College fired Al Skinner at the end of last season and brought in Cornell coach Steve Donahue. When that happened, the offense drastically changed. As you recall BC ran the flex offense under Skinner and UNC had struggles defending it at times. Under Donahue the Eagles are content to spread the floor, depend on ball movement to find the open look. UNC's defense is such that if the rotations are late or missed, the BC is going to get those open looks. For the Eagles it will be a question of knocking down shots. The Eagles shoot 38% from three has a team and have four players who shoot 38% or better from beyond the arc. Also of note is the fact this offensive set will likely pull John Henson away from the basket taking UNC's best shot blocker out of position versus a team that could end up with quite a few backdoor cuts. Oh, and BC plays dog slow. KenPom has them tanked 296th in tempo at 64.3 possessions per game. This is not a matchup that favors UNC considering what happened at Miami last week.
That means, like the Miami game, UNC will need some consistent offensive efficiency. That means going to the interior well as often as possible while getting another solid performance from Harrison Barnes. The bench scoring might be more important as it the bench play in general. UNC's liberal substitution pattern has generally meant fresher legs for the Heels at the end of games than their opponents. Assuming the Heels can accelerate the pace that can be the case here since BC is both unaccustomed to the pace but also does not substitute as much. Besides, I would love to see the Heels put together a consistent offensive performance just to see if they can. Even versus NC State the offense was following union rules on breaks. Something along the lines of 40 minutes of good offensive basketball would be nice.
UNC 68 BC 66