On Wednesday, they battle Georgia Tech on the road and they must continue this surge of momentum. It is rare to find a team that is struggling more in the ACC than the Tar Heels, but at 11-9 on the season and 2-5 in the conference, Georgia Tech suits that rare category. The Tar Heels can easily run away with this game just like they did against Clemson, but under no circumstances can they take this struggling team lightly.
Georgia Tech is led by senior guard Trae Golden who leads the team in scoring with 14.3 points per game and assists with 3.4. In terms of rebounding, sophomore forward Robert Carter Jr. leads the charge with 9.3 per game. Rebounding has been a huge downfall in the Tar Heels’ game as of late, and even in their domination of Clemson, they allowed them to grab too many offensive boards and gave up too many second chances. James Michael McAdoo will most likely be matched up with Carter Jr., so in order for him to win the rebounding battle in the frontcourt, he must be physical, which he has done a great job of recently. If head coach Roy Williams wisely decides to start Kennedy Meeks alongside McAdoo again, the Tar Heels should have no problem producing a physical frontcourt.
Meeks was a key factor in the Clemson game, and a double-digit scoring game out of him usually means a Tar Heels victory, so it’s vital that he uses those head fakes to get to the rim. Leslie McDonald must continue to improve his shot from beyond the arc, and it is up to Marcus Paige to either get him the ball in the outlet or take the shot himself. Paige seems to only get his scoring game going late in the game, so it is important that he can get things going right off of the tip.
The Tar Heels have defeated Georgia Tech three out of the last four times the two played each other, and they are currently on a three-game win streak against the Yellow Jackets. Even though the Tar Heels are not too far from the Yellow Jackets in the standings, I would still consider it an upset if they happened to lose. Every single game is a must-win for the Tar Heels from here on out, and with each win, they gain more respect and relevance in the ACC. The game against Clemson was a dominant showing, but they must prove to the nation that it was not just a fluke and that they are capable of playing like that every single game.
The Tar Heels attempt to win consecutive games for the first time since their last three games of non-conference play on Wednesday night. Hopefully they take the momentum from the Clemson game and use it to blow out a Georgia Tech team that has no business being on the same court as them.
Nothing is definite for this year’s young and inconsistent Tar Heels team, but one thing is for sure, they have more than enough talent to be successful in the ACC.