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A Look At UNC

February 21, 2012

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chart: {
renderTo: ‘FourFactorsUNC’,
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title: {
text: ‘The Four Factors From The First UNC Game’
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xAxis: {
categories: [‘eFG%’, ‘Turnover%’, ‘OReb%’, ‘FTR’]
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title: {
text: ‘Percentages’
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return ”+
this.series.name +’: ‘+ this.y +’ %’;
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credits: {
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series: [{
name: ‘NC State’,
data: [44.7, -23.9, 15.4, 15.8]
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name: ‘UNC’,
data: [52.3, -21.1, 42.9, 20.3]
}]
});
});

Ugh. Look at those numbers in the charts, if you dare.

The game in Chapel Hill in January felt like utter domination on Carolina’s part from the get-go, and the numbers bear it out.

Not only did Carolina shoot above 50% in eFG%, they also got back an absurd 42.9% of their misses (the conference average is roughly 31%). So when they weren’t making them, they were getting them back and making them.

I’m not beating anyone to the punch on this analysis, but doing a better job getting defensive rebounds is where needs to improve the most if they’re to hope to have a chance in the game tonight.

If State allows UNC to get back anywhere near their average percentage of shots, which is 34.5%, it’ll be a long night. Despite their shooting woes, they’re too good of a team with too many weapons to give them second chances at baskets.

Both teams like to run, but limiting turnovers will be key. State turned it over too much last game, but so did Carolina. If State can protect the ball and create a statistical imbalance in their favor in the turnover category, it might lead to some fast break points that can ignite the crowd.

Speaking of the crowd, the home court advantage is the only thing I could see that would keep State in this game on paper. We know State matches up poorly against UNC and their dominant front line, but if the crowd stays in it from the opening tip to the final buzzer, it’ll improve State’s chances of rallying back from any deficits it might find itself in, limit scoring droughts and help preserve any leads they can generate.

Lastly…State has to keep “The Black Falcon,” aka Harrison Barnes, in check. I’ve watched him these last two years in State games, and his demeanor and passion level seems to spike more than one might expect of a kid from Iowa who knew nothing of this State/Carolina game growing up. Is it Barnes feeding off of Roy’s hatred for the Wolfpack? Perhaps.

But Barnes always seems to have an explosive play of some sort during our games, an emphatic put-back dunk or a dagger three, that gets him–and his teammates by extension–amped up to a higher-than-normal degree.

If State can keep Barnes off the offensive glass and defend him on the perimeter, limiting his destructive nature and keeping his excitement in check, it’ll go a long way to ensuring that UNC’s collective energy level will remain at manageable levels.

Because as we’ve seen, UNC’s problem this year isn’t talent or depth–it’s getting that talent to execute at a high level from start to finish. When they lose focus, they’re beatable.

Unfortunately for State, Ol’ Roy does a great job of getting them focused for this rivalry game, even if most UNC fans would try to convince you it’s not one.

The onus is on State to match that intensity level early.

Oh, and please…DON’T SHOOT OVER HENSON. (I’m looking at you, Calvin.)

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