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Tale of the Tape: UNC vs Ohio State

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Tar Heels vs Buckeyes

North Carolina Ohio State
Conference ACC B1G
Record 7-3 9-1
KenPom Rank 16th 15th
Points per game 80.0 84.2
Adj. Off. Efficiency(Rank) 108.8(25th) 109.4(22nd)
Ad. Def. Efficiency(Rank) 90.0(16th) 90.4(19th)
Tempo(Rank) 71.1(12th) 68.6(19th)
Offensive eFG% 48.8% 60.3%
Defensive eFG% 40.4% 44.7%
Field Goal % 45.3% 53.7%
3P FG% 28.9% 41.8%
FT% 70.1% 72.1%
Offensive Reb Rate 45.4% 38.6%
Defensive Reb Rate 64.4% 69.8%
TO Rate 18.7% 18.1%
FT Rate 39.1% 32.5%

As far as statistical comparisons go, this match-up is very interesting because some of the relevant numbers are very close. The efficiency numbers for both teams are within three spots of each other and the tempo is similar. Ohio State's shooting on the other hand is out of this world good. The Buckeyes are shooting 53.7% on all shots, 59.1% on two point shots and 41.8% on three point shots. Ohio State's eFG% is 2nd at 60.3%. Needless to say those are scary numbers, especially given UNC's long standing reputation of not defending the three well.

That being said, there are two caveats. One, UNC has been holding teams to 25.2% shooting from three which is sixth nationally.

Team Season 3P% vs UNC 3P%
NCCU 30.7% 29.4%
Robert Morris 31.1% 30.0%
Davidson 40.9% 30.6%
Butler 35.8% 32.1%
UCLA 37.3% 7.1%
Florida 35.4% 22.2%
Iowa 30.3% 15.0%
ECU 30.6% 16.0%
Kentucky 29.3% 46.7%
UNCG 36.1% 20.8%

Only one team has performed at or better than their season average from three against UNC. It also should be noted these overall shooting percentages include games against UNC which means this teams are actually better(or worse in UK's case) from three than even these numbers indicate.

The other caveat here is Ohio State has played just one good team all season. While the efficiency numbers in KenPom get adjusted for SOS, the raw numbers do not. Ohio State has played the 331st ranked schedule according to KenPom. The overall opposing offensive efficiency for Ohio State is 96.0 which is 339th, the opposing defense is 101.7 with is 294th. Of the ten games on Ohio State's schedule just two limit teams to shooting less than 48% from two and only four limit teams to less than 34% from three. In short the Buckeyes, with the exception of facing Louisville, have not been tested by a high caliber defense like UNC's. It is also unlikely Ohio State has seen the length and size UNC brings to the court except for when the Buckeyes faced the Cardinals.

However before anyone throws a party here, even though the competition has been poor for Ohio State the Buckeyes are perfectly capable of shooting lights out, especially with open looks. UNC's defense has been much improved on the perimeter but the primary way that defense functions can still lead to open shots. Despite UNC's allowing just 25% from three, teams are still content to shoot them. The 3PA/FGA for UNC opponents is 37.9% and that is 279th overall. The Buckeyes are going to take their shots from three, the question is how many will they make?