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The Citadel v North Carolina

by Sharon Thorsland

It’s been a tough week for North Carolina. The Tar Heels had a late meltdown and lost by two to Pitt, then fell to arch rival Duke on Saturday in a game where they couldn’t find any offense. That dropped them to 15-8 on the season and 7-5 in ACC play. They’ll try to get back in the win column when they take on Wake Forest Tuesday night in Winston Salem. The Demon Deacons aren’t faring much better, they’ve lost four of their last five games and are 15-9 overall and right behind UNC in the conference at 7-6 on the year. Tip-off is set for 7:00 on WBT.

Wake is averaging 77 points a game led by senior point guard Tyler Appleby. He’s second in the ACC averaging 18 points per game and is shooting 45 percent from three. Slowing down Damari Monsanto will be key, the junior is knocking down 3’s at a torrid pace. He’s drained 76 3-pointers in 23 games, including eight against Notre Dame last weekend. Andrew Carr and Cameron Hildreth each average over six rebounds and a combined 24 points per game. Wake rotates freshman big Zach Keller at center with Matthew Marsh.

The Deacs have struggled with slow starts this season, although they were able to overcome that against Notre Dame. UNC seems to have the opposite problem, losing leads late in games, a la Pitt and Duke. The Tar Heels also continue to struggle from deep, they’re next to last in the ACC averaging just 30 percent from behind the arc. That’s compounded when Pete Nance has an off night. UNC needs to get the ball in to Armando Bacot early and often. The senior is third in the ACC in scoring and leads the league in rebounding, and when the Heels offense runs through him, they’re hard to stop.