#4 2011 vs #5 1988
Starters and Bench
So what we have here are two teams that both finished first in the ACC, both lost to Duke in the ACC Championship game and both bowed out in the Elite Eight. 1988 lost seven games, 2011 lost eight games. And in a very odd quirk both teams finished the season ranked 7th in the media poll and 8th in the coaches poll. The Elite Eight finishes for both teams probably has something to do with that.
In terms of head-to-head match-up, the 2011 team looks the better of it on paper. Harrison Barnes and John Henson, in particular would be an issue for the 1988 team to handle. And the 2011 version of Dexter Strickland, the one what used his quickness in transition, picked his spots to score and was accurate from 12-15 feet adds an interesting dynamic on both ends of the floor.
On the flip side, 1988 had Jeff Lebo's three point shooting and J.R. Reid as a force in the paint. The 1988 team shot 43% from three but relied heavily on interior play. That puts the defensive burden on Henson and Tyler Zeller who are probably enough to shut the 1988 team offensively. 1988 was also a deeper team which could matter if foul trouble creeps in. Larry Drew did show up for the game but left halfway though it.