The Tar Heels, coming off of an 85-84 win over North Carolina State, look to come out with a much greater sense of urgency against Virginia Tech. North Carolina is riding a 10 game win streak while Virginia Tech is on a 3 game losing streak. This game is a trap game waiting to happen for UNC Basketball. Any team can beat any team on any given night. Here are some things to watch for:
1) Will the Tar Heels Start Strong?
In three out of their last four games the Tar Heels have not started the way they would have liked to, but ended up overcoming the second half deficits against Florida State, Duke, and NC State. Virginia Tech is having a down year, but they are still not a team to take lightly. The Tar Heels must play well early by attacking the basket, getting rebounds, and getting out in transition.
2) Marcus Paige’s Minutes:
Marcus Paige is currently averaging 35.8 minutes a game. There are 40 minutes in a game, not including any over times. As the season winds down and the wear and tear of the season begins to set in, finding Marcus Paige minutes to rest in games will become increasingly more valuable to Roy Williams and the rest of the team. In order for Marcus to get some rest, the team must start the game off well and maintain their focus and energy throughout the 40 minutes. As stated earlier, Virginia Tech should not be taken lightly, but this is a team that North Carolina should play well against and give Paige some rest.
3) James Michael McAdoo’s Performance:
James Michael has not scored over 11 points in his past four games. In that stretch, he is only shooting 27.8% from the field. It is imperative that he begins to find his groove again down the stretch of the season. Carolina cannot afford him to continue to play like he has the past 4 games.