North Carolina

Gameday: Pitt’s Artis, Young could challenge UNC’s Johnson

No. 9 North Carolina vs. Pittsburgh

When: 1 p.m.

Where: Smith Center, Chapel Hill

TV/Radio: WRAL/106.1-WTKK

Projected starting lineups

North Carolina (20-4, 9-2 ACC)

G Joel Berry 12.2 ppg, 4.3 apg

G Marcus Paige 12.9 ppg, 3.7 apg

F Justin Jackson 12.0 ppg, 3.8 rpg

F Brice Johnson 16.3 ppg, 10.2 rpg

F Kennedy Meeks 10.8 ppg, 6.2 rpg

Pittsburgh (17-6, 6-5 ACC)

G James Robinson 9.3 ppg, 5.3 apg

G Sterling Smith 6.2 ppg, 3.8 rpg

F Jamel Artis 15.1 ppg, 4.6 rpg

F Sheldon Jeter 8.5 ppg, 5.1 rpg

F Michael Young 16.6 ppg, 6.8 rpg

Observations

For the second consecutive season UNC and Pitt meet on Valentine’s Day – and the Tar Heels have to hope this goes better than it did last year, when the Panthers won 89-76 in Pittsburgh. UNC has yet to beat a conference opponent that has brought a winning league record into the day of the game, and of the Tar Heels’ nine ACC wins only one – against Syracuse – came against a team that has a winning league record right now. So and this would be an important victory for the Tar Heels. Pittsburgh has lost three of its past four, including a two-point loss at Miami last week, and the Panthers appeared headed toward a spot on the NCAA tournament bubble. Offensively Pitt prefers a slower pace, but the Panthers can get out and run when they need to – as they did last season when these teams played. Defensively UNC will have its hands full with Artis and Young, who will challenge Johnson on the interior.

Andrew Carter

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