Clemson Tigers looking for revenge in rematch with UNC Basketball program

Looking to keep the momentum going from Saturday's win over Duke, the UNC Basketball program welcomes Clemson to town for a rematch from a month ago.

Grant Halverson/GettyImages

The UNC Basketball program rebounded back from the loss at Georgia Tech in exciting fashion with a 93-84 victory over rival Duke on Saturday night. The Tar Heels were able to enjoy that win for about 24 hours. However, a quick turnaround in the schedule means it's time to look back forward as the Clemson Tigers will come to town, hungry for a win.

14-7. 432. ESPN. Tuesday, Feb 5. UNC BB vs Clemson. . 7:00 PM. 18-4. 441

North Carolina got the better of Clemson in round one of the season series this year with a 10-point victory over the Tigers in a game that was much closer than the final margin. Clemson enters the contest 14-7 overall and 4-6 in the conference. However, in the past 9 days, 2 of those losses have come by a combined two points (a 72-71 loss at Duke and a 66-65 loss versus Virginia).

Clemson has the ability to put up a fight and challenge the UNC Basketball program on Tuesday night, especially if the Tar Heels are in a hangover state from the emotional victory over rival Duke.

Key to Victory for North Carolina

Get out in transition.

On Saturday night versus Duke, we saw just how good North Carolina's offense can be when they are pushing the pace. Several times following a Blue Devil made basket, the Tar Heels were down the floor and scoring on the other end faster than Duke could get back in position.

In the first matchup, Clemson did an excellent job of slowing the pace down and limiting possessions (neither team had a single fast-break point). This kept the Tigers in that game up until the final three minutes when the Tar Heels locked down defensively, not allowing another point. That same tempo will almost certainly be an emphasis for Clemson in this one, as it likely gives them the best chance to pull off the upset.

This game significantly swings in favor of the UNC Basketball program if they can do what they did to Duke and push the tempo at an extremely fast pace.

Something to Watch For

Also in the Duke game we saw an opponent do something we haven't seen this year.

Take RJ Davis out of the game.

Duke and the Blue Devil guards did an excellent job of face-guarding the frontrunner for ACC Player of the Year. In the first half, Davis was limited to just four points. Even with that effort, North Carolina still led by ten at the halftime break, thanks to Harrison Ingram and Armando Bacot stepping up.

Will we see Clemson and other opponents moving forward take this same approach by trying to slow down Davis and force other Tar Heels to beat them on the offensive end? If so, can players like Ingram, Bacot, and others consistently perform at the level they did against Duke?

It will certainly be something to watch to see how the Tigers defend Davis and the rest of the UNC Basketball team.

Last Meeting

The last meeting will be exactly one month ago when these two teams meet tomorrow. That game was on January 6th at Clemson, a 65-55 victory for North Carolina. It was a much tighter contest than the final score indicated though.

Neither team led by more than five for the first 33 minutes of the game. The Tar Heels gained a six-point lead for 22 seconds at 55-49 with 6:34 remaining in the game, but Clemson quickly answered to cut the deficit back to four.

After a PJ Hall jumper to close the gap to 58-55 with 5:06 remaining, the Tar Heels locked down defensively and didn't let the Tigers score again, closing the game on a 7-0 run to secure the final margin of 65-55.

The Tar Heels held the Tigers to 1-18 (5.6%) from three-point range and outrebounded Clemson 44-33. The Tigers had three players score in double-figures as Chase Hunter had 17, Ian Schieffelin 16 and PJ Hall with 10.

North Carolina was led by Armando Bacot with 14 points and 16 rebounds followed by RJ Davis with 14 points. Cormac Ryan also added 10 points.

Projected Starters

No. 2 Elliot Cadeau (Fr. 6-1, 180) 7.6 ppg, 1.7 rpg, 3.7 apg

No. 3 Cormac Ryan (Sr. 6-5, 195) 10.8 ppg, 3.3 rpg, 1.2 apg

No. 4 R.J. Davis (Sr. 6-0, 180) 21.3 ppg, 3.6 rpg, 3.4 apg

No. 5 Armando Bacot (Gr. 6-11, 240) 13.9 ppg, 9.9 rpg, 1.6 apg

No. 55 Harrison Ingram (Jr. 6-7, 235) 12.5 ppg, 9.0 rpg, 2.4 apg