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Game Preview: #9 UNC vs Davidson

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina vs Davidson, 6:00 PM, ESPNU

UNC returns to action with what could be a tough match-up against Davidson. The Wildcats are off to a 5-0 start for the first time since 1968-69 when Lefty Drisell was the coach there. While that might be Davidson's best start in decades, the Wildcats are generally a challenging team to play. Bob McKillop has his teams well prepared and three point shooting, especially from big men, will make UNC's job on the defensive end tougher.

Another element in play is how UNC responds in this game coming off a huge win over #2 Maryland on Tuesday. The crowd for this game won't be at the same energy level as Tuesday night and this type of contest is ripe for a Tar Heel let down if Roy Williams doesn't have the attention of his team.

As much focus as there was on Marcus Paige's first game back, his second game as he and the team falls back into routine, might be more intriguing. There was a great deal hype with the game versus Maryland and Paige was anxious to get back on the court. Intensity, focus and playing up to potential was not an issue in a game of that nature but it could be today.  UNC has a bit of reputation of playing down at this time of year and this group in particular has gone through its share of less than inspired efforts against lesser teams. If that happens against a 200-300 ranked team in KenPom, UNC can get away with. Doing it against a top 100 team like Davidson which presents match-up issues is dangerous.

UNC has a week break for exams coming up so there is little reason not to put the hammer down in this game and validate what was seen on Tuesday night, that this Tar Heel team is who we thought they were.

UNC 101 Davidson 79