ACC Tournament 2nd Round: #5 North Carolina vs #12 Boston College, 2:30 PM(approx), ESPN/ACC Network
When given a choice of opponents from yesterday's #12 vs #13 games, Boston College was probably more dangerous to the Tar Heels than Georgia Tech. Both teams had their potential pitfalls for UNC, With the Yellow Jackets it was the possibility of facing a sizable frontline without Kennedy Meeks. A match-up with Boston College offered the challenge of slowing down Eagles guard Olivier Hanlan. Given UNC's dominance over Georgia Tech, a third game against the Jackets was preferable. After all, facing a prolific scorer and a team that could have other players suddenly catch fire from three is less than ideal. Hanlan scored 25 in Boston College's win over Georgia Tech on Tuesday and there is nothing to suggest he won't be just as productive versus the Tar Heels.
For UNC is yet another game following a loss that came down to a stretch of poor execution on the offensive end for the Tar Heels. The Tar Heels showed on Saturday night the capability to play at a high level against a more talented team but stumbled just enough to end up on the wrong side of the win-loss column. While UNC should hold the talent edge over Boston College, getting everyone to execute together to maximize that edge has always been the question.
Given the match-up, UNC's game plan is clear: Get the ball inside. Brice Johnson and Isaiah Hicks were a handful for the Eagles in Chestnut Hill on February 7th that again should be the case. If Kennedy Meeks plays, he should be able ot exploit his size advantage much the same way Georgia Tech as would Joel James. Anything that involves UNC settling for jumpers, especially by the wrong players, will be playing into the Eagles' hands.
The obvious exception there is Marcus Paige who looked very bit like he had found his groove against Duke on Saturday night. Paige noted following the win over Georgia Tech that he was pain free for the first time in a long while and his play versus Duke showed that. His health has improved to the point that Roy Williams noted Paige was taking part in conditioning for the first time in a month. While UNC's strength is on the interior, a healthy Paige playing as he did on Saturday night perhaps could be a step in the direction of this team finally figuring things out.
UNC 77 Boston College 62