No. 9 UNC at Miami
When: 1 p.m., Saturday
Where: Watsco Center, Coral Gables, Fla.
TV/Radio: CBS (Ian Engle, Bill Raftery). Internet live-stream: CBSSports.com, CBS Sports app. Radio: 106.1-WTKK; SiriusXM channel 108.
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Projected starting lineups
North Carolina (19-3, 7-1 ACC)
G Joel Berry 15.5 ppg, 4 apg
G Kenny Williams 6.7 ppg, 3.5 rpg
F Justin Jackson 18.5 ppg, 5 rpg
F Isaiah Hicks 12.8 ppg, 5.4 rpg
F Kennedy Meeks 13.1 ppg, 9.8 rpg
Miami (13-6, 3-4)
G Ja’Quan Newton 15.1 ppg, 3.9 apg
G Bruce Brown 11.2 ppg, 6.9 rpg
G Davon Reed 15.5 ppg, 4.1 rpg
F Anthony Lawrence 6.8 ppg, 4 rpg
F Kamari Murphy 6.6 ppg, 8.1 rpg
▪ UNC missing Theo again.
The Tar Heels will play their 17th game of the season without Theo Pinson, the junior forward who suffered an injury during a victory on Thursday night against Virginia Tech. Pinson rolled his right ankle midway through the first half of that game and didn’t return, and UNC announced on Friday that doctors were still evaluating his injury. Any game without Pinson, as versatile as he is, is a blow. He missed UNC’s first 16 games but played in the past six – and, perhaps not coincidentally, the Tar Heels usually played very well during that stretch.
▪ Back on the road, and with a quick turnaround.
The Tar Heels picked up a valuable ACC road win last weekend at Boston College. The task will be considerably more difficult on the opposite end of the East Coast on Saturday. Miami has won 22 of its past 23 games at home, and that includes a perfect 9-0 home record in ACC play last season. What’s more, UNC will be playing two days after its victory on Thursday against Virginia Tech. This is the second of three stretches in which UNC is playing two games in three days. Coach Roy Williams has been critical of that burden, and UNC on Friday emphasized the importance of physical recovery. The Watsco Center is hardly one of the most difficult places to play in the ACC, but Miami is likely to be playing with a sense of desperation amid its middling start to conference play.
▪ Scouting Miami: The Hurricanes aren’t deep. That’s among the primary differences between UNC and Miami. Williams can use a 10-man rotation, if he wants. Miami, meanwhile, has nine scholarship players. Four of those comprise a freshman class that is considered the best in school history. Dewan Huell, the 6-11 forward who has started for most of the season, is the headliner there. He was a McDonald’s All-American. The Hurricanes aren’t necessarily known for their offensive efficiency and they like to play a slower, more deliberate tempo, which contrasts with UNC. Miami is one of the teams in the ACC that can match up with UNC’s size, and the Hurricanes are a good rebounding team – though nobody in the country has been better at rebounding than the Tar Heels.