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Tale of the Tape: UNC-NC State

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

Here are the numbers for the second meeting between UNC and NC State

North Carolina NC State
Record 20-7 17-10
ACC Record 10-4 7-7
KenPom Rank 20th 81st
Points per game 77.0 70.4
Points per possession 1.09 1.06
Offensive Efficiency(Rank) 111.7(52nd) 109.4(82nd)
Defensive Efficiency(Rank) 93.2(12th) 100.8(95th)
Tempo(Rank) 71.5(19th) 67.3(144th)
Offensive eFG% 49.6% 49.3%
Defensive eFG% 45.3% 46.1%
Field Goal % 46.3% 45.6%
3P FG% 33.5% 29.4%
Offensive Reb Rate 38.8% 34.1%
Defensive Reb Rate 69.1% 64.0%
TO Rate 17.3% 16.6%
FT Rate 44.9% 35.5%
KenPom win probability UNC 62%

Stats sources: KenPom and Statsheet

One benefit to doing these statistical analysis before every game is you get to see what kind of single game number it takes to make the overall averages jump. And at this point in the season it takes something significant. UNC had one such number against Wake Forest when the Tar Heels posted an adjust offensive efficiency of 144.6. Despite UNC running a high octane offensive style you have to go back to 2008 when UNC posted an OE of 160.6 vs Arkansas in the NCAA Tournament to find a game the Tar Heels were that good offensively against a Division I team(UNC posted a 151.6 last year against Division II Chaminade in Maui.) In fact the 144.6 versus Wake Forest is the seventh highest offensive efficiency rating in the Roy Williams era against Divsion I teams and eight highest against all teams.. Even the 2009 team which is considered one of the best offensive teams in UNC history, didn't have a game at that level although that team has the distinction of being the only one to never have an OE under 100 during any game that season.

At any rate UNC got a nice bump in it's average offensive efficiency and is ranked around 50th overall with the defense riding steadily at 12th. Even UNC's three point shooting is all the way up to 33.5% after lingering in the 30-31% range. This sudden offensive surge is a nice addition to what UNC has been doing on defense all season. As has always been the case, there is a consistency question which rests on Leslie McDonald and James Michael McAdoo as much as anyone else.

In this rematch, UNC face an NC State team that is shooting below 30% from three, is not efficient grabbing defensive rebounds or getting to the foul line very much. Still, this is a team with the ACC leading scorer, playing at home and needing a signature win to see if they can crawl into the NCAA Tournament. In short, the stats might be less consequential than the intangibles in play for this game.