The North Carolina State Wolfpack and the University of North Carolina Tar Heels are two of the top three teams in the Atlantic Coast Conference this season. The Wolfpack and the Tar Heels are both off to undefeated starts after playing a couple of inferior opponents.
N.C. State dominated a weak Miami Ohio team in their first game and handled Penn State easily in the first game of the Puerto Rico Tip Off. Tonight the Wolfpack will be facing a momentum riding Massachusetts team in the semi-finals of the tournament.
North Carolina struggled a little in their opener against Gardener-Webb, but still won by double digits. In their second game they dominated Florida Atlantic in all aspects to start off the season 2-0. Tonight the Tar Heels will be facing on a very good Long Beach State team on the road before heading off to Maui.
The Wolfpack and the Tar Heels both won’t have their all-important home court advantage tonight.
You may think that both teams will come down with easy wins tonight, but that will not be the case. N.C. State will be facing a very good UMass team – Jesse Morgan and Chaz Williams are both extraordinary players for the Minutemen and will give the Wolfpack all they can handle.
UMass will have to control the tempo tonight. A team who likes to get off quick shots may have to try and work the shot clock, and try and get the Wolfpack into foul trouble in order to stay in the game.
If UMass can keep it close at the end, they will have a chance to win. A team who has already won both of their games on buzzer-beaters has proven they can win close games.
North Carolina State can not overlook the Minutemen tonight or they will go down. I expect N.C. State to come out with great energy and prove to everyone that they deserve their ranking.
On the other hand, N.C. State’s arch rival North Carolina will be on the road against a very talented Long Beach State team.
UNC is an extremely young team that plays 4 freshman and multiple sophomores. For the Heels this will be their first road game of the season and it will be a tough one. For the four freshman it will be their first time playing somewhere other then the Dean E. Smith Center and that also causes a concern for the road team.
Not only will they be playing on the road, but they will be playing at almost midnight according to eastern time. If the Tar Heels come out sleepy, LBSU is talented enough to pull the upset.
In order for the 49ers to win they have to limit their turnovers especially against a very quick UNC team. LBSU has 44 turnovers in their first 2 games and can not afford those numbers tonight.
James Ennis and Mike Caffey have scored almost half of the 49ers points on the season. If UNC can lock down those two players they will win easily, but Ennis and Caffey can carry the 49ers if they get hot.
I expect both North Carolina State and North Carolina to come out on top tonight. It is early in the season, and both teams are trying to prove they are contenders.
If i had to pick which team has the better chance of loosing, it would be the Tar Heels. A young team going on the road to face a good mid-major can always provide a scare. Also, UNC can not overlook the 49ers as they will be playing in the Maui Invitational starting on Monday.