UNC Basketball set to take on Michigan State in second round of NCAA Tournament

Hubert Davis and the UNC basketball program look to clinch a spot in the Sweet 16 as they take on Michigan State in the Round of 32 on Saturday.

Wagner v North Carolina
Wagner v North Carolina / Jacob Kupferman/GettyImages

After a blowout victory over Wagner in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament, Hubert Davis and the UNC basketball program are back at it on Saturday night in the Round of 32 against No. 9-seeded Michigan State.

Saturday, March 23, 2024. 28-7. 441. . 5:30 PM EST. 20-14. 486. CBS. UNCMST MBB

Don't let their 10-10 record in Big Ten play fool you: this is another Tom Izzo-led team that could cause havoc in the NCAA Tournament. The Spartans look to upset the No. 1-seeded Tar Heels while North Carolina looks to handle business close to home in Charlotte

Both teams are highly motivated to earn trips to the Sweet 16, as a lot will be on the line when the two squads meet on Saturday night.

How Did They Get Here?

North Carolina
Round 1:
Defeated No. 16-seeded Wagner 90-62

Michigan State
Round 1:
Defeated No. 8-seeded Mississippi State 69-51

Key to Victory for North Carolina

North Carolina has to take care of the basketball and avoid settling, especially early on in the game.

When the Tar Heels were rolling against Wagner, their offense was generated in the paint. North Carolina had their way against an undersized Wagner squad, but started to get sloppy with the basketball, making some questionable passes while settling for contested jump shots.

Turnovers will haunt you, as the Tar Heels must take better care of the basketball. Freshman guard Elliot Cadeau can not afford to have another sloppy outing, as the UNC basketball program needs him on the top of his game the rest of the way.

As usual, the game plan should be to feed Armando Bacot early and often. It will be interesting to see how Michigan State elects to defend the Tar Heels big man, but if Bacot can draw early attention, it will open up opportunities for others to capitalize.

Something to Watch For

Saturday night will be a battle of the New York guards, as former AAU teammates RJ Davis and Tyson Walker will once again compete against each other.

After battling on opposite teams in high school, the New York natives will meet once again on college basketball's biggest stage. Both players are having outstanding seasons, as Walker leads the Spartans in scoring while Davis led his conference in scoring and was named the ACC Player of the Year.

Expect these two players to put on a show as they hope to out duel each other in an effort to lead their respective teams to victory.

Projected Starters

No. 2 Elliot Cadeau (Fr. 6-1, 180) 7.7 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 4.1 apg
No. 3 Cormac Ryan (Sr. 6-5, 195) 10.8 ppg, 2.9 rpg, 1.3 apg
No. 4 R.J. Davis (Sr. 6-0, 180) 21.5 ppg, 3.8 rpg, 3.5 apg
No. 5 Armando Bacot (Gr. 6-11, 240) 14.0 ppg, 10.2 rpg, 1.5 apg
No. 55 Harrison Ingram (Jr. 6-7, 235) 12.5 ppg, 9.2 rpg, 2.2 apg