North Carolina Can't Afford to Let One Slip Away Against Boston College

By Anthony Lenahan
Bob Donnan-USA Today Sports

North Carolina heads on the road to face a very young Boston College team.  A team that the Tar Heels need to be able to beat on the road if they want to make it into the NCAA tournament.

Carolina enters the game at a modest 13-6 and 3-3 in ACC play while Boston College enters at 9-10 and a league worst 1-5 in the conference.  It is a can’t lose game for the Tar Heels as they are playing the worst team in the conference.  It isn’t a must win because they should win, it as a can’t lose because if they lose, it just ruins their season.

The Eagles gave both North Carolina State and Miami close games when they were at home.  As a young team playing at home helps them out a lot and they have shown they can play with the better teams when they are in front of their own fans.

Carolina is only 2-5 on the road the whole season and has struggled greatly when not in the Dean Smith Center.  The Tar Heels are also a very young team and that could play a part in them struggling on the road.

Boston College relies heavily on star sophomore forward, Ryan Anderson.  Anderson can shoot the outside shot and play down low as he averages 16.4 points per game.  James Michael McAdoo is a great perimeter defender for a big man and should be able to shut down Anderson.

The Eagles also have Joe Rahon, Lonnie Jackson, and Olivier Hanlan on the offensive end as all three also average double figures.  B.C. has four players who score in double figures, but their problem is everyone else barely scores at all.  With only four players who you really have to defend, it makes it hard to win.

Carolina doesn’t need to worry about their offense as they are top 10 in the country in both scoring and assists.  Their problem comes on the defensive end where they need to improve by the end of the season.

Roy Williams’ squad lacks defensive toughness and intensity and it has cost them in every loss this season.  If Carolina doesn’t get out and contest Boston College’s outside shots.  The Eagles shoot the most three’s in the conference and can knock them down with open looks.

If Carolina gives up those open looks to Boston College’s primary scorers, the Eagles can single-handily ruin Carolina’s tournament hopes.  With a loss here, Carolina won’t be out of the tournament, but they won’t be in good shape and their confidence will be shot.

Every win is a big win for a young team and it builds confidence for the young players.  That is exactly what needs to happen for Carolina going on the road tonight.

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