NCAA Basketball

As injuries pile up, UNC fights to stay atop of ACC

The North Carolina Tar Heels are coming off a great win against the North Carolina State Wolfpack. After losing a tough game against Duke, fans feared they wouldn’t recover quickly. But UNC showed up versus NC State winning by a score 87-73. Head coach Roy Williams will look to keep his team on the right path as we move towards the end of the season.

The Review: UNC vs NC State

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Dennis Smith Jr. attacks Luke Maye and Joel Berry II

As we look at the ACC standings, North Carolina stand alone at 10-3 with a total record of 22-5. They faced an NC State team that just can’t seem to find any consistency. Lately, NBA prospect Dennis Smith Jr. has been playing well but his team still has lost six consecutive games. Their ACC record is at 3-11 and at this point, they’re not going to make the NCAA tournament. It looks like NC State must win the ACC tournament in a couple weeks to make the big dance.

Everything about this game went in the Tar Heels favor. Kennedy Meeks, Luke Maye, Tony Bradley and the others dominated the rebounds. UNC had 41 total rebs with 18 offensive yet NC State only accumulated 25 total rebs with nine offensive. While NC State did shoot better from three, UNC dominated the paint and scored at a high percentage. Joel Berry II recovered from a tough game against Duke with eighteen points and six assists. Not to be outdone was Berry’s counterpart in the paint Kennedy Meeks. He added seventeen points and eight rebounds. Dennis Smith Jr. did all he could but his team has really been struggling. His 27 points and high field-goal percentage looked like a formality that they would perform better but UNC was just too good.

Up Next: North Carolina vs Virginia

The most highly-rated of the college game of the week, according to ESPN, is upcoming. This game will feature a battle of styles and whoever can dominate the pace will have the advantage. Virginia is one of the higher-rated team in points allowed while UNC is near the top of scoring teams in the ACC. Joel Berry II and Justin Jackson must be in control of getting the ball and pushing the pace. Whoever dominates the rebounding will most likely come out on top. London Perrantes must also continue to be a strong leader for Virginia to snap this two-game losing streak.

Final Synopsis:

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Kenny Williams III (#24) will be out for the remainder of the season with knee surgery

Carolina must improve heading into the ACC tournament if they want to achieve a top seed this year. Coming up they have tough tests against teams like #8 Louisville and #12 Duke plus two games against #14 Virginia. To add on, starting guard Kenny Williams III had season-ending knee surgery. Williams has been an impact player in his sophomore season and played a major role on defense. For UNC, he played the 2 and 3 positions which allowed Justin Jackson to take more rest and be less fatigued in crucial fourth quarters. There’s no doubt that Carolina’s depth will be tested in this strenuous stretch of the season. But players like Theo Pinson, Seventh Woods, and Nate Britt must take their play to the next level for North Carolina to stay atop.

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