No. 9 North Carolina at Boston College
When: noon, Saturday
Where: Conte Forum, Chestnut Hill, Mass.
TV/Radio: ACC Network/106.1-WTKK; SiriusXM channel 84.
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Projected starting lineups
North Carolina (17-3, 5-1 ACC)
G Joel Berry 15.8 ppg, 4.2 apg
G Kenny Williams 7 ppg, 3.4 rpg
F Justin Jackson 18 ppg, 5.1 rpg
F Isaiah Hicks 13.1 ppg, 5.4 rpg
F Kennedy Meeks 12.7 ppg, 9.7 rpg
Boston College (9-10, 2-4)
G Jerome Robinson 19.6 ppg, 4.4 rpg
G Ky Bowman 11.9 ppg, 4.2 rpg
F Connar Tava 7.1 ppg, 6.2 rpg
F A.J. Turner 9.6 ppg, 3.8 rpg
F Mo Jeffers 5.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg
▪ A prime opportunity for an ACC road victory for UNC.
Winning on the road in the ACC has never been easy but it has been especially difficult this season. Entering the weekend, ACC teams are 13-31 on the road, and even Boston College's Conte Forum – which offers perhaps the least intimidating environment in the league – has been difficult on road teams. Lowly Boston College, picked to finish last in the ACC, has home victories against Syracuse and N.C. State, and the Tar Heels a season adfgo narrowly avoided what would have been a colossal upset at Boston College, which wound up finishing 0-18 in the ACC. That was the game in which Roy Williams fainted during the second half, leaving assistant Steve Robinson to coach UNC to victory. Another Tar Heels victory is to be expected on Saturday, but don't take league road wins for granted.
▪ Tony Bradley’s return.
The Tar Heels expect to become a little bit deeper on Saturday with the return of Bradley, who's due to return after he missed UNC's past two games while recovering from a concussion. Bradley endured that during a victory at Wake Forest 11 days ago and has been recovering since. He was cleared to return to practice on Wednesday. Bradley is UNC's top post reserve off the bench, and it's only true post player off the bench. In Bradley's absence, coach Roy Williams more often used a smaller lineup featuring Theo Pinson at power forward. That could well continue, but Bradley's return gives Williams his full complement of players for only the third time this season.
▪ Scouting Boston College: After a winless conference season last year, the Eagles have already exceeded expectations, perhaps, with conference victories against Syracuse and N.C. State. Still, the Eagles lack the kind of depth and talent that most ACC teams take for granted. Jerome Robinson, the former Broughton High standout, is the ACC's third-leading scorer but has scored nine points each in consecutive games, after scoring at least 20 in the previous eight. Robinson and Ky Bowman, from Havelock, won’t lack for motivation on Saturday given that both are from North Carolina and neither came anywhere close to UNC's recruiting radar. Turnovers have really hurt the Eagles, who rank among the worst teams in the nation at avoiding turnovers. They commit turnovers on 21.8 percent of their possessions, according to kenpom.com.