No. 11 Kentucky at No. 18 UNC
When: 5:15 p.m.
Where: Smith Center, Chapel Hill
Projected starting lineups
G Andrew Harrison 10.3 ppg, 3.5 apg
G Aaron Harrison 13.8 ppg, 3 rpg
F James Young 13.9 ppg, 3.9 rpg
F Julius Randle 17.8 ppg, 11.9 rpg
F Willie Cauley-Stein 9.1 ppg, 7.7 rpg
G Nate Britt 5.6 ppg, 2.5 apg
G Marcus Paige 18.8 ppg, 4.5 apg
F J.P. Tokoto 9.4 ppg, 5.5 rpg
F James Michael McAdoo 13 ppg, 5.9 rpg
F Joel James 4 ppg, 4.8 rpg
Player to watch
Julius Randle, forward, Kentucky
Randle began the season with seven consecutive double-doubles, and hes had double-digit points and rebounds in eight of the Wildcats first 10 games. A little more than a month into his college career, Randle is already considered to be among the best players in the nation, and hes in an elite class of freshmen that includes Dukes Jabari Parker and Kansas Andrew Wiggins. The Tar Heels might not face another forward as good as Randle until they see Parker, but Randle is a different kind of player. Hes a load on the interior, and hell offer UNCs frontcourt its most difficult test to date.
Which UNC team will show up Saturday? Marcus Paige, the sophomore guard, acknowledged earlier this week that its been easier for the Tar Heels to get up for games like these. UNC coach Roy Williams is seeking more offensive balance, and with good reason. The Tar Heels 23 3-pointers this season rank 347th nationally. This is the third game against a ranked team for UNC, which already defeated then-No. 3 Louisville and then-No. 1 Michigan State. Kennedy Meeks, the Tar Heels freshman forward, had his two best games against Louisville (13 points and 12 rebounds) and Michigan State (15 points and seven rebounds). Kentucky, according to KenPom.com, is the least experienced team in the nation. Four of Kentuckys starters are freshmen.