Heels vs Deacs
|North Carolina||Wake Forest|
|Points per game||79.0||71.3|
|Adj. Off. Efficiency(Rank)||113.5(16th)||101.4(160th)|
|Ad. Def. Efficiency(Rank)||90.5(13th)||95.9(77th)|
|Field Goal %||45.6%||43.5%|
|Offensive Reb Rate||44.5%||34.9%|
|Defensive Reb Rate||68.3%||76.3%|
On the surface UNC enjoys plenty of advantages. Wake Forest can be turnover prone and doesn't shoot the ball well. The Deacons prefer to play up-tempo which benefits UNC since most teams that try to play at the Tar Heels' pace often end up on the wrong end of things. Overall, UNC is the more efficient offensive team with the gap between the teams being closer on the defensive end.
The one number that really could cause UNC grief and undermine the Tar Heel offensive numbers is Wake Forest's defensive rebounding rate. While UNC is 1st nationally with a 44.5% offensive rebounding rate, the Deacons grab 76.3% of opponent misses. This is a clear strength vs strength battle for UNC and given how much the offensive rebounding serves to buoy a somewhat inconsistent offense, a critical one at that.
One key to Wake Forest's defensive rebounding is Devin Thomas. The 6-9 junior is 6th nationally with a DRB% of 29.3 while 6-10 freshman Konstantinos Mitoglou has a DRB% of 16.9. This will make life plenty challenging for the Tar Heel duo of Brice Johnson and Kennedy Meeks who both rebound well on both ends of the floor.
Another stat to watch are the fouls. UNC has had its share of foul problems, especially on the interior. Wake Forest is 24th in free throw rate. Thomas is a key factor in this as well drawing 6.4 fouls per 40 minutes which is 55th nationally. The one negative to Wake Forest going to the line is the team shoots 64% from there and Thomas is actually below 60% from the stripe.
Given Duke and Louisville's troubles in Winston-Salem and some of the match-up issues Thomas could present for the Tar Heels, this game is very dangerous for UNC and one the Heels really cannot afford to lose.