UNC vs Davidson: Preview, broadcast information & prediction

CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 29: Kenny Williams
CHAPEL HILL, NC - NOVEMBER 29: Kenny Williams /

The Tar Heels will travel to Charlotte on Friday for a tricky test against Davidson.

On Wednesday, the North Carolina Tar Heels bounced back fairly easily against Michigan. They steamrolled the Wolverines 86-71 and the score was somehow closer than the game was in the second half.

The Tar Heels were in full control for most of the game.

But Friday, they will make the trip across the state to Charlotte, to play the Davidson Wildcats.

The Tar Heels and the Wildcats have faced off quite a few times over the years, twenty-one times to be exact.

North Carolina has had a large amount of success against Davidson.

But that does not mean that the series has not been interesting. The Tar Heels only won by nine points at home last year against the Wildcats. In 2014, the Tar Heels escaped against Davidson in overtime at home.

Despite being the more historical program, Davidson always brings their A-game against the Tar Heels.

But this year Davidson has struggled a little bit after losing their top scorer Jack Gibbs. Davidson is coming into this game against North Carolina with a 3-2 record. Their two losses came at the hands of Nevada and Appalachian State. Appalachian State blew out the Wildcats by a final score of 78-62.

However, that does not matter.

A lot of Davidson players grew up in North Carolina and dreamed of going to UNC. Sometimes that can be the perfect formula for an upset.

If Davidson can get hot from three, that can cause issues for the Tar Heels. Let’s go a little more in-depth into the Davidson Wildcats.

One Davidson player to watch…

Peyton Aldridge is Davidson’s best scorer and rebounder. That’s why he is the player to watch for Davidson. Aldridge, a 6-8 senior, is a very similar player to Luke Maye. They will likely guard each other, but watching the two go at it on their respective offensive ends should be fun.

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Aldridge has a very good mid-range game, and can even hit from three-point range.

He has hit 13 threes this season while shooting 36% from deep. But his game in the paint can be just as good as his outside game.

Aldridge has a nice hook shot he loves to go to, also very similar to Luke Maye. He is averaging 22 points per game, but his rebounding is just as important.

Aldridge is snatching seven rebounds per game, which leads the team.

The Tar Heels play so much better when they dominate the boards. They will have to keep Aldridge off the glass if they want to win the rebounding margin and win the game.

One UNC player to watch…

Kenny Williams has been the Tar Heels best three-point shooter so far this season and it hasn’t been close.

He was brought in as a knockdown shooter, and while it has taken some time, he has finally turned into that.

While it is early, and it is not a huge sample size, Williams is shooting 57% from three this year. He has totaled 17 threes this year in seven games. In his first two seasons as a Tar Heel, he only made 27 threes in 55 games played.

But other than his shooting, he has also been a great defender for the Tar Heels. Williams also lives to take charges. He is always in position to take the charge in the paint.

If Williams can continue to hit some early threes for the Tar Heels, and set the tone on defense early, North Carolina should not have any problem beating the Wildcats.

Against Michigan, Williams hit three early three-pointers that set the pace for the Heels. The Tar Heels will certainly take that again if they can get it.

Difference maker…

The three-pointer will be the difference maker in this game.

Davidson is prolific for being a very good three-point shooting team year in and year out. They have had shooters like Stephen Curry and Jack Gibbs.

But now they have Peyton Aldridge and Jon Axel Gudmundsson, who are very good shooters in their own right. Those two have combined to shoot 40% from deep this season.

The Tar Heels have also shot the three ball fairly well this season. Kenny Williams and Luke Maye have been very effective from three and Joel Berry is liable to get hot at any time.

But the recipe for an upset is the underdog making a lot of threes.

Davidson will likely be chucking up three-pointers early in the game, just to get an early advantage.

If North Carolina finishes the game with a higher three-point percentage than Davidson, that can spell doom for the Wildcats.

However, if Davidson makes some threes early in the game, and finishes with a percentage close to, or better than the Tar Heels, the Wildcats could have a chance in the game.

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What you need to know

WHAT? North Carolina 6-1 (0-0 ACC) vs Davidson 3-2 (0-0 A10)
WHEN? Friday, December 1, 2017 at 8:00 p.m. ET
WHERE? Spectrum Center – Charlotte, NC
RADIO? Tar Heel Sports Network
SERIES HISTORY: North Carolina leads series 19-2
PREDICTION? UNC 86, Davidson 69