North Carolina vs UNC Greensboro, 6:00 PM, ESPNU
The Tar Heels return to action after a week long break for Christmas with a "shake the rust off" game against UNC Greensboro.
Since this game is likely to be a dominant Tar Heel win, the primary question being asked concerns the health of Marcus Paige. The Tar Heel senior and preseason ACC Player of the Year injured his right ankle in UNC's 94-70 win over Appalachian State. Paige went up to block a shot on the perimeter and when he landed, he experienced pain in the same area of the ankle he had surgery on after last season. Paige returned to the game and played early in the second half before leaving the game for good due to stiffness. Following last week's game, Paige dismissed the injury as significant and was not concerned the newest discomfort being a long term issue.
The status of Kennedy Meeks will also get some attention. Meeks has been out for three games with a bone bruise to his knee The initial prognosis announced by UNC was as much as several weeks but possibly as little as two weeks. Today would mark two weeks since UNC made that announcement so it stands to reason Meeks could return to action. Given the decision to sit him was to ensure the bruise would heal versus being a season long nagging issue, an abundance of caution is likely in order.
In the meantime, Meeks' absence is Brice Johnson's gain. UNC's senior power forward has been on a tear over the past three games averaging 24.6 ppg and 9.6 rpg pacing the Tar Heels to three straight dominant wins. During that span, Johnson made 16 straight field goals to tie a UNC record held by Brad Daugherty. Given the caliber of opponent, it is likely Johnson's hot streak continues.
With UNC coming off a break versus a team the Tar Heels should handle with ease likely points to a choppy effort but another 20+ point win. The only drama here is if UNC can post another 120+ offensive efficiency rating, which would be a Roy Williams best sixth straight.
UNC 95 UNC Greensboro 70