by Sharon Thorsland
North Carolina is comfortably on top of the ACC with a two game lead over the field.
They’re looking to extend that tonight when they take on Clemson in Chapel Hill. The 3rd
ranked Tar Heels are coming off an impressive win over Duke on Saturday that improved
them to 10-1 in the conference and 18-4 overall. The Tigers started out the season hot and
even reached number 13 in the AP Top 25 before reality set in when they started conference
play. They’re currently 4-6 in the ACC and 14-7 overall, but their last three losses have
come by a combined five points. Tip-off is set for 7:00 on WBT.
Generating offense has been difficult for the Tigers this season, they’re managing just 79
points a game, that’s 64th in the country. Center PJ Hall is their go-to guy, the senior is one
of the best big men in the league, averaging nearly 20 points and seven rebounds per game.
The Tigers have a veteran back court with Syracuse grad transfer Joseph Girard and senior
Chase Hunter combining for over 26 points a contest. Ian Schieffelin leads the Tigers with
nearly 10 rebounds a game. The Tigers are one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the
ACC, they just 30% from behind the arc. They’ll face a UNC defense that has been playing
at an elite level and limits teams to just 26.8% from deep. The Tigers made just one of 18
attempts in their first matchup against the Tar Heels this season, a 65-55 UNC win.
The Tigers have struggled defensively in ACC play, they’re allowing opponents to shoot
over 52% from the field. And now they’ll face a UNC team that is rolling on offense.
Behind senior guard RJ Davis, the Tar Heels average over 83 points a game. They also lead
the league in offensive rebounds and boast the top rebounder in Armando Bacot. Clemson
will have to focus on limiting second-chance opportunities if they want to slow down the
This Clemson team is certainly better than its record – the Tigers have some big-time wins
this season (South Carolina, Alabama and TCU), and lost one game in double overtime and
two in the last second. But they’ve had no luck playing in Chapel Hill, with a 1-60 record
since 1926. Their only win came back in 2020. It doesn’t look like their luck will change
this trip – UNC is playing excellent basketball right now and is undefeated at home this
season. GoTar Heels!
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