North Carolina is playing their best basketball of the season as they head on the road to face an averages Clemson Tigers team. As the NCAA tournament drawers closer and closer, the Tar Heels seed keeps looking better and better, but a loss tonight would drop Carolina back down to a projected double-digit seed.
With P.J. Hairston now in the starting line-up, Carolina has become a much smaller, but much better team. Clemson does not have the size on their roster to exploit that weakness on this new Carolina team. Hairston is listed at 6 foot 6 and will guard the opposing teams four.
For Clemson, that would mean he would probably guard Milton Jennings, a player Hairston can match-up with physically even though he gives up a height advantage.
James Michael McAdoo will be key for the Tar Heels come post-season play and he needs to start getting into beast mode. He has been very inconsistent of late, but the sophomore forward has the talent to take over any game. If McAdoo is on tonight, the Tigers have no answer.
Devin Booker will try to be the answer as he leads Clemson, but he does not have enough talent and ability around him to pull off a victory at home.
Clemson does not shoot very well from the field, the free throw line, or the three-point line and with the intensity of Carolina’s defense of late, it will be difficult for Clemson to score.
The Tigers rely on defense to win games, but they won’t be able to stop the Tar Heels enough to get a win in the low 50′s. Reggie Bullock, Marcus Paige, Dexter Strickland, and Leslie McDonald provide to many other options for Carolina besides Hairston and McAdoo.
Clemson just can’t match-up talent wise, but as they are the home team, you never know.
This is the only meeting between these two teams all year and it is a big one for the North Carolina Tar Heels.