North Carolina (17-8) at Georgia Tech (14-10)
The Sports Network
DATE & TIME: Tuesday, February 19, 9 p.m. (et)
FACTS & STATS: Site: McCamish Pavilion (8,600) -- Atlanta, Georgia. Television: ACC Network, ESPN3.com. Home Record: UNC 12-1, Georgia Tech 10-4. Away Record: UNC 3-6, Georgia Tech 2-5. Neutral Record: UNC 2-1, Georgia Tech 2-1. Conference Record: UNC 7-5, Georgia Tech 4-8. Series Record: UNC leads, 62-24.
GAMES NOTES: On Tuesday night the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets will clash at McCamish Pavilion in an Atlantic Coast Conference matchup.
On Saturday the Tar Heels erupted in the second half to coast past Virginia, 93-81. The win ended a short two-game slide for North Carolina which is having a mediocre season by its normally lofty standards. The Tar Heels are a solid 17-8 overall but have just a 7-5 mark in league play which has them tied with NC State for fourth in the ACC standings. It is that same Wolfpack team that North Carolina will face next in a rematch of a loss for the Tar Heels earlier this season.
A pair of free throws from Robert Carter Jr. with eight seconds left proved to be the deciding factor for Georgia Tech in its 57-56 win over Wake Forest last time out. The Yellow Jackets haven't been able to get in a rhythm in either direction recently as they have traded wins and losses over their last seven games. Georgia Tech owns a 14-10 overall mark but has just a 4-8 record against fellow ACC teams. When at home the Yellow Jackets have 10 wins in 14 tries, but a trip to face Virginia awaits following this bout.
North Carolina already earned a win this season against Georgia Tech when it posted a 79-63 victory at the Dean Smith Center on Jan. 23. The win was the second straight for the Tar Heels who had lost four in a row previously. North Carolina has controlled the series historically with a 62-24 all-time series lead.
Going into halftime the Tar Heels and Cavaliers were knotted 40-40. In the second half though the Tar Heels shot 55.2 percent from the field, knocking down 7-of-11 shots from beyond the arc and making good on 14-of-18 free-throw attempts to distance themselves from the Cavs.
Though wins haven't come as easily as usual, the Tar Heels have still been plenty potent on the offensive end of the floor. North Carolina is among the top 10 teams in the country in points (78.5 pg) and assists (17.6 pg), while also managing to fit in that rarified air in rebounds (41.2 pg). Defensively though the Tar Heels haven't helped themselves by allowing teams to put in 70 points per game. The one-two combination of James Michael McAdoo (14.4 ppg, 8.2 rpg) and Reggie Bullock (14.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg) power the Tar Heels, while P.J. Hairston (13.5 ppg) has been a valuable asset in the backcourt. No other player on the roster is putting in more than eight points per game though Dexter Strickland (7.9 ppg, 3.9 apg) and Marcus Paige (7.4 ppg, 4.2 apg) have made an impact as passers.
There were nine ties and seven lead changes in the battle between Georgia Tech and Wake Forest on Saturday. The Yellow Jackets shot only 39.3 percent from the floor in the game but held the Demon Deacons to just 29.2 percent, while forcing 17 turnovers.
Low-scoring affairs are nothing new for Georgia Tech. The Yellow Jackets are the worst shooting team in the conference (.417) and the second worst in terms of scoring (64.1 pg). However the Yellow Jackets have managed to remain within striking distance most nights by holding foes to 59 points per game on 37.9 percent shooting. Each of those marks is among the 30 best in the country. Georgia Tech controls the boards relatively well by bringing in the third most per game in the league (37.9). Marcus Georges-Hunt (10.6 ppg) serves as the primary scorer for the Yellow Jackets as he is the only player scoring in double figures. Carter (9.8 ppg, 6.8 rpg) has shown flashes of scoring ability, while Mfon Udofia (9.0 ppg) and Kammeon Holsey (9.3 ppg) also hover around double-digit point totals.
When these teams first met this season North Carolina dominated and though the venue will change this time around the result won't.
Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Carolina 72, Georgia Tech 64
02/19 10:34:44 ET