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Tale of the Tape: UNC-Texas

Grant Halverson

Here is how the Tar Heels match up statistically the Texas Longhorns.

North Carolina Texas
Conference ACC Big 12
Record 7-2 9-1
KenPom Rank 11th 65th
Points per game 78.0 78.8
Points per possession 1.09 1.07
Offensive Efficiency(Rank) 113.9(20th) 104.6(156th)
Defensive Efficiency(Rank) 92.6(10th) 94.8(32nd)
Tempo(Rank) 70.9(67th) 71.9(42nd)
Offensive eFG% 50.1% 49.0%
Defensive eFG% 44.1% 45.9%
Field Goal % 47.8% 44.8%
3P FG% 29.4% 34.0%
Offensive Reb Rate 37.3% 38.5%
Defensive Reb Rate 69.4% 73.5%
TO Rate 17.3% 17.7%
FT Rate 50.4% 50.0%
KenPom win probability UNC 87%

Stats sources: KenPom and Statsheet

One number not on the stat sheet here is 1-3. That's Roy Williams record versus Texas since this series started in 2010. UNC lost at Dallas that season, in Greensboro the next, won in Chapel Hill in 2012 and then got blown out in Austin last December. This quite a reverse from years of Williams beating Rick Barnes when the former was at Kansas.

For a second straight game, UNC will face a team that can rebound and in general has better rebounding numbers. Texas is better on both the offensive and defensive glass. UNC's defensive rebounding is off particular concern. Against Kentucky, the feeling was UNC did everything right on the defensive end except grab the missed shot. Texas presents a similar issue since the Longhorns don't shoot the ball well(44.8%) but have a pair of players who are in the top 200 nationally in offensive rebounding rate. 6-9 Cameron Ridley(who Williams recruited) and 6-8 Jonathan Holmes will present issues for UNC in terms of controlling the boards.

The other factor here is UNC is a top ten defense facing an offense ranked 156th in offensive efficiency, 186th in effective FG% and shoots free throws almost as badly as UNC does. If this game involves a lot of fouls then the "clanging" sound you hear won't be the Carol of Bells but a lot of missed free throws. In short, if UNC can rebound on the defensive end, the Tar Heels should be able to win this game with as much ease as KenPom is predicting.