Where: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
When: Sunday, November 20th, 2:00 PM
TV: RSN(affiliate list here)
Records: UNC 2-0; MVSU 0-2
Now let the season begin.
Given the circumstances surrounding the first two games, it is easy to think of them as isolated from the rest of the season as though they were exhibitions. Of course they weren't which is why UNC winning both games and coming away injury free was all you could really ask for. Playing on an aircraft carrier followed by a jet-lag riddled contest versus a pair of possible NCAA Tournament teams is not cupcake warm-up some teams play before breaking into more substantial competition.
Now UNC opens the home schedule with two games in three days and four in a week. On tap are the flour based confectionary delights coaches are fond of in the November as a way of breaking the team in. Mississippi Valley State represents such a cupcake coming into this game 0-2 having lost to Notre Dame and DePaul. The Delta Devils are undersized and not exceptionally deep in terms of their bench. In the first two games of the season MVSU has shot poorly all around and should not provide a huge challenge for the Heels.
So what is there to look for in this game? Crisper execution and better shooting for starters. UNC has not taken care of the ball while starting games in a less than focused manner. With a clearly inferior opponent on the floor, playing at home for the first time, I would expect a strong start from UNC. This is the sort of game where we will see if Roy Williams intends to exercise his bench a bit more than he has in the first two games. It is possible the reason why Roy has only gone with an eight man rotation is due in part to the other scholarship players simply not being ready to play significant minutes. UNC has enjoyed a nice quality of depth for many years now but this team may simply stack up the same way the 2005 team did with eight clear cut pieces and the rest of the bench too underdeveloped to see the floor much outside of mop up duty. That being said, blowing a team out is a good way to provide the starters some rest. Seeing that the Heels have four games over the next week, holding back on minutes for the starters in these two home games is probably on Roy's agenda.
UNC 105 MVSU 66