#2 1984 vs #7 2014
Starters and Bench
|James Michael McAdoo
Across the 33 teams included in this tournament there are five(1982-1986) which did not play with the three point line. In some respects that makes predicting games between teams from different eras more difficult. Except for this one. The 2014 Tar Heels had one legitimate three point threat in Marcus Paige. Leslie McDonald would hit threes every so often but not enough to assume it would happen in a game like this. That means the three point shot will hardly be a factor in a game between these two. That and the fact the 2014 doesn't have anywhere near the talent to match 1984.
It is a safe assumption that the 1984 team is the greatest Tar Heel team to never win an NCAA title. This was a very experienced team with two seniors(Sam Perkins and Matt Doherty) and a junior(Michael Jordan) who was the national player of the year that season. Brad Daugherty was coming into his own and hitting 61% of his shots for that season and freshman PG Kenny Smith averaged almost five assists per game.
While both teams have five players each who line up fairly closely with each other in terms of scoring average, this game probably wouldn't be that close. J.P. Tokoto would certainly guard Jordan given he is the only 2014 Tar Heel the athleticism to match up with His Airness. Even then, Jordan would likely get his and then some. Paige on the other hand might find life difficult given he could be guarded by Jordan or the quicker Smith. Brice Johnson would probably fair better against Daugherty than Kennedy Meeks and while James Michael McAdoo is fairly athletic, Sam Perkins was a force to be reckoned. Perkins averaged 17.6 ppg and 9.6 rpg in 1984. In fact the size advantage the 1984 team would enjoy over the 2014 front line is more than enough to carry the day.
Besides the individual match-ups, the reality is 1984 was a very, very good offensive team. That team averaged 80.1 ppg in an era that didn't have a shot clock or a three point line. As a team they shot 54.3% from the floor and 78.3% from the line. The difference in free throw shooting alone is a problem for 2014 given the most recent incarnation of the Tar Heels were 16% worse from the line. At the end of the day, 2014 would be severely over-matched by 1984's offense and without perimeter shooting threats unable to level the playing surface.