North Carolina and Davidson have played one another 75 times, with the Tar Heels winning 64 of those games. Outside of ACC opponents and Maryland, a longtime former member of the ACC, the Tar Heels have defeated no school more often than it has Davidson.
The Tar Heels and Wildcats meet again on Wednesday night at the Smith Center. Three things to watch:
1. Who starts in place of Joel Berry?
Berry will miss this game and he might miss the Tennessee game on Sunday, too, after suffering a sprained ankle. UNC coach Roy Williams didn’t say on Tuesday how he planned to fill Berry’s place in the starting lineup, but the choices are either Nate Britt, the senior, or freshman Seventh Woods, who could be in line for his first college start. Britt is the more obvious choice but Williams seemed intrigued by what the experiencing of starting might do for Woods, who has experienced a difficult transition to the college game.
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2. Defending Gibbs
Berry is UNC’s second-leading scorer, but he’s also the Tar Heels’ defensive leader – and the one most responsible for organizing his teammates on both ends. Without him, it will be more difficult for UNC to account for Jack Gibbs, the 6-foot Davidson guard who leads the Wildcats with an average of 23.3 points per game. Gibbs might not be as dangerous a player as Steph Curry, the former Davidson standout turned NBA MVP, but the Wildcats’ hopes of pulling an upset on Wednesday night begin with Gibbs.
3. UNC’s likely edge in offensive rebounding
The Tar Heels are one of the nation’s best rebounding teams, especially on the offensive end. They’re second nationally in offensive rebounding percentage, according to kenpom.com. That has to be a troubling reality for Davidson, which has surrendered more offensive rebounds (81) than it was secured (80). Offensive rebounding will be an advantage for UNC in a lot of games this season, and it looks like it should be against the Wildcats on Wednesday.
Davidson at UNC
When: 9 p.m., Wednesday
Where: Smith Center, Chapel Hill