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Game Preview: #12 UNC at Boston College

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

North Carolina at Boston College, 3:00 PM, RSN

After a pair of missed opportunities to snag at least one quality win, the Tar Heels are back in "take care of business mode" with a pair of contests against two teams at or below the KenPom top 100. First on the slate is Boston College and UNC's first visit to Chestnut Hill since the Tar Heels took an 82-70 win there in 2013.

Following a rigorous schedule and UNC seemingly never ending battle with injuries, the Tar Heels have entered a much lighter stretch. Presumably this will permit UNC to get some rest and get healthy which is key to actually having normal practices. As Marcus Paige noted on Friday, not being able prepare for teams with the personnel you will be facing them with can impact the in-game execution. UNC is getting a little closer to having everyone healthy enough to get those types of practices in, especially if Joel Berry is close to fully returning.

On the offensive end, UNC will look to put together a complete game, something that hasn't happened since the win over Syracuse. The fact the Tar Heels faced two really good defenses was a factor in the lack of offensive punch. UNC also didn't help itself with turnovers. The miscues weren't as costly against Syracuse but the Tar Heels paid for them against Louisville and Virginia. In some ways, the Tar Heels are their own worst enemy when it comes to turnovers. While the defense plays a role, a lack of patience or attempting to make a play that isn't there, have been huge concerns. Better decision making will go a long way towards resolving some of the turnovers issues.

One player who often factors in heavily into the turnover discussion is J.P. Tokoto. With Tokoto it can be a famine or feast situation. There are times he does good things and his facilitation of the offense is critical. On the other hand, Tokoto is prone to turning the ball over with six each against Syracuse and Louisville. He had zero turnovers against Virginia but only because he was a complete non-factor with a usage rate of just 7% and a single point scored. For UNC to be successful Tokoto needs to be productive as does Justin Jackson who has had some struggles with his jump shot at times. The sudden emergence of Nate Britt has covered a bit for the lack of wing production but without it, the defensive pressure on Marcus Paige will continue to be excessive.

This is the type of game that can serve as an opportunity for the Tar Heels to get back on track in terms of execution and reestablishing some confidence. Roy Williams is fond of saying that "everything looks better when the ball is going in the basket." UNC really needs the ball to go into the basket and get out of Chestnut Hill with a win sans any additional injuries.

UNC 75 Boston College 65