Where: Dean Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
When: Thursday, January 31st, 7:00 PM
Records: UNC 19-1, 4-1 ACC; BC 12-6, 3-2 ACC
Have I ever mentioned that I probably dislike BC at levels that are fairly close to my disdain for Duke? Kind of amazing what one NCAA Tournament game almost 14 years ago can do to your perception of a team. BC is a member of the Inconsistency Club in the ACC winning and losing games in an alternating fashion. That kind of inconsistency probably means BC will find a way to be on and give UNC a tough game then wet the bed on the next outing.
The main concern in dealing with BC comes from Tyrese Rice the PG position. Given Rice’s scoring abilities and relative quickness, Ty Lawson will have his hands full and vice versa. In fact during the two meetings a year ago, the two players “split” the matchups.
Rice got the best of Lawson at BC and Lawson returned the favor in the ACC Semifinals. Of course the ACC Tournament fell in that period of time where Lawson was playing his best basketball of the season following the benching at Georgia Tech. Rice is in the midst of the finest season of his career averaging 20 ppg and 5 apg. It is clear the offense begins and ends with Rice which puts a lot of pressure on Lawson to bring the defensive intensity from the very start. It also should be noted that Rice has a fairly pedestrian A/TO at 1.5 which means a solid defensive effort might be enough to turn him over a few times.
BC also boasts a natural shot blocker in Tyrelle Blair which could put pressure in the Heels’ interior game. Tyler Hansbrough has not generally dealt with athletic shot blockers very well. The best option for him will be to face up some and vary his offensive production using different shots as he did versus Miami. Concerning the rest of the Heels on offense I would very much like to see both Wayne Ellington and Danny Green come out with great games following the eight day break. Green has been in a bit of a funk over the past few games and Ellington has been good early in games but slowly fades way down the stretch. Needless to say we are all waiting for Deon Thompson to have a showcase game.
And the defense? I am not going to talk about that anymore unless of course we see some improvements.
UNC 88 BC 72