UNC Basketball begins final homestand with a rematch against NC State

The UNC basketball program has a lot to play for over the final week of the regular season as they host NC State in a must-win game on Saturday afternoon.

North Carolina v NC State
North Carolina v NC State / Lance King/GettyImages
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The next week is very important for the UNC basketball program, as they not only wish to end the 2023-2024 regular season strong but also hope to secure sole possession of the ACC regular season title.

In order to do that, the Tar Heels must continue winning games, as a rematch with NC State is on the horizon on Saturday afternoon in Chapel Hill.

Saturday, March 2, 2024. UNCNCSTMBB2. . 17-11. ESPN. 441. 4:00 PM EST. 2272. 22-6

NC State comes into this game having lost four of their last six games, but don't let that fool you: this group will come ready to play on Saturday in hopes of spoiling the Tar Heels' season.

After defeating the Wolfpack on January 10, Hubert Davis' team hopes to replicate the success, this time on their home floor.

The energy levels should be very high at the Dean Smith Center, as both teams will be very much motivated for this meeting.

Key to Victory for North Carolina

The Tar Heels need to get out and run.

Playing with a fast pace will be crucial, as it will force Kevin Keatts' hand in regard to the amount of minutes DJ Burns will play.

If the Tar Heels control the tempo, one of NC State's biggest pieces won't be utilized as much as they'd like him to be.

Additionally, North Carolina is going to have to lock in defensively. If they can make life difficult for NC State's offense from the word go, the Tar Heels may be able to control the game throughout.

Something to Watch For

It will be the last regular season matchup between Armando Bacot and DJ Burns, as the UNC basketball program hopes that Bacot will get the better of Burns in what could be their final battle against one another.

Burns can be a handful, given his size, but it is very important for Bacot to stay out of foul trouble in this game.

If Bacot gets in some foul trouble, how will Hubert Davis counter?

Expect to see at least a little bit of James Okonkwo in this one.

Last Meeting

On January 10, the UNC basketball program defeated NC State in Raleigh by the score of 67-54.

The Tar Heels held the Wolfpack to just 27.3% from the floor, including just 10% from beyond-the-arc (2 of 20). North Carolina didn't shoot the ball particularly well either, connecting on just 38.7% of their attempts while missing 8 of 20 attempts from the free throw line.

RJ Davis led all scorers with 16 points, while fellow backcourt mate Elliot Cadeau contributed 11 points of his own. Harrison Ingram fell a single point shy of a double-double but recorded a career-high 19 rebounds in the win.

Projected Starters

No. 2 Elliot Cadeau (Fr. 6-1, 180) 7.6 ppg, 1.8 rpg, 4.1 apg
No. 3 Cormac Ryan (Sr. 6-5, 195) 10.9 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.4 apg
No. 4 R.J. Davis (Sr. 6-0, 180) 21.7 ppg, 3.7 rpg, 3.4 apg
No. 5 Armando Bacot (Gr. 6-11, 240) 14.1 ppg, 10.5 rpg, 1.6 apg
No. 55 Harrison Ingram (Jr. 6-7, 235) 12.2 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 2.2 apg

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