North Carolina is the first ACC team to be featured in our “March Preview” series because they are atop the ACC standings. The Tar Heels have had a phenomenal season after losing in the National Championship last season. Marcus Paige and Brice Johnson graduated but Joel Berry and Justin Jackson have stepped up in their place. North Carolina looks like a Final Four with just a few games left in the regular season.
Strength: Offensive Rebounding
Both the eye test and analytics confirm that North Carolina is a tremendous offensive rebounding team. KenPom ranks them as the best offensive rebounding team. Watching North Carolina confirms the stats as the Tar Heels fight for every missed shot. They have size and depth down low in the form of Kennedy Meeks, Tony Bradley, Luke Maye, and Isaiah Hicks. They slow down the opposition’s fast break by crashing the glass and forcing the defense to have 5 men fighting for the rebound. Even if North Carolina does not have a great shooting night from the outside, their offensive rebounding can get them easy buckets and keep them in games.
Weakness: Forcing Turnovers
UNC is a fantastic defensive team that ranks in the top 20 according to KenPom’s stats. Their two minor holes on defense are forcing turnovers and three point defense. The Tar Heels rank 139th in the country in forcing turnovers. If Roy Williams’s club runs into an experienced point guard in the tourney it could stop UNC’s chance for any fast break points.
Be sure to check out all of our March Preview articles to help you prepare to fill out your bracket.