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UNC's Kennedy Meeks uncertain for ACC tournament

North Carolina’s Kennedy Meeks (3) drives to the basket against Duke’s Jahlil Okafor (15) in the second half.
North Carolina’s Kennedy Meeks (3) drives to the basket against Duke’s Jahlil Okafor (15) in the second half. rwillett@newsobserver.com

There's a good chance North Carolina will be without Kennedy Meeks, its starting center, during its first ACC tournament game on Wednesday.

Tar Heels coach Roy Williams said on Tuesday that Meeks didn't practice on Monday and that he wouldn't practice on Tuesday, either. Meeks has been suffering from a fever, Williams said, that resurfaced Tuesday morning.

“They've tested him for mono, strep, everything – everything comes up negative,” Williams said. “So I have no idea if he'll – well, I have a great idea that he won't play (Wednesday). And so I guess we'll just have to wait and see after that.

“I don't have any idea if this is related to numbers or whatever being down.”

Meeks enters the postseason averaging 12.1 points per game but he hasn't been as productive during the past week and a half. He has scored a combined 14 points in UNC's past three games, and he finished with two points – and made just one of his seven field goal attempts – in UNC's 84-77 defeat against Duke on Saturday night.

Meeks' rebounding numbers have remained consistent with his season average of 7.6 rebounds per game, but his recent lack of scoring is a concern entering the ACC tournament. So, too, is his health.

“You can't just look at it and say it's a wall,” Williams said, referring to the thought that Meeks might have hit a wall late into his sophomore season. “You've got to get either over it or walk around the sucker and get to the other side and play.”

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