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The UNC Tar Heels will take on the UCLA Bruins in what will be a close Sweet 16 matchup. These two teams have faced each other seven times, and UNC has won six of those games. They last played in 2019, and UNC won 74-64.
The UNC Tar Heels had a good season, but they were under the radar for most of it. They finished their regular season on a high note when they beat Duke 94-81 in Coach K’s last home game.
The Tar Heels went up against the Marquette Golden Eagles in the First Round. They crushed them 95-63 and had a 53-point first half. Brady Manek and Caleb Love combined for 53 points on 21-30 shooting.
UNC had the tough task of beating the Baylor Bears in the Second Round. It looked like Baylor would win at the end of the first half. The Bears were beating the Wildcats 42-29 at halftime. UNC came storming back in the second half and sent the game to overtime. The momentum was on the Tar Heels’ side at the end of regulation, and they won 93-86. The Tar Heels should thank RJ Davis for this victory. He scored 30 points and never stepped off the floor.
UNC has three players scoring 15 points or more and scores over 75 points a game. They will need to depend on their defense to win.
The UCLA Bruins had a consistently strong season and went on a few winning streaks this year.
The Bruins faced the Akron Zips in the First Round. People thought UCLA would blow out Akron, but Akron kept it close. Akron had a 1-point lead at halftime, but UCLA pulled away at the end. UCLA won the game 57-53. Tyger Campbell led the Bruins in minutes (38) and scoring (16).
UCLA faced the Saint Mary’s Gaels in the Round of 32. They had an easier time in this game and won the game 72-56. Tyger Campbell led the Bruins in scoring with 16 points. He went 8-8 from the free-throw line.
These teams have similarly good offenses, but UCLA has the better defense. This game will be close, but UCLA will come out on top.
UCLA beats UNC 70-66. UCLA covers, Under 141.5 points.
|UNC Tar Heels||Head-to-Head||UCLA Bruins|
|Hubert Davis||Head Coach||Mick Cronin|
|26-9 (15-5, 2nd in ACC)||Standing||27-7 (15-5, 2nd in Pac-12)|
|Leader (Per Game)|
|Armando Bacot (16.4)||PPG||Johnny Juzang (15.7)|
|Armando Bacot (12.5)||RPG||Jaime Jacquez Jr. (5.7)|
|RJ Davis (3.7)||APG||Tyger Campbell (4.2)|
|Caleb Love (1.1)||SPG||Jaime Jacquez Jr. (1.2)|
|Armando Bacot (1.7)||BPG||Myles Johnson (1.3)|
|Armando Bacot (.588)||FG%||Myles Johnson (.620)|
|Brady Manek (.395)||3P%||Tyger Campbell (.413)|
The Tar Heels are just barely the underdogs but can win if they create turnovers and protect the rim.
UNC does not have an elite defense. They sometimes struggle slowing teams down and do not steal the ball a lot. They only average 5.4 steals a game. UNC needs to be more active in the passing lanes and steal the ball from UCLA as much as possible.
UNC has a smaller team and only averages 3.8 blocks a game. Luckily, they are facing a guard-heavy UCLA team in this matchup. They need to stop UCLA from scoring at the rim. If they do, they will force the Bruins to depend on the outside shot.
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The UCLA Bruins are the favorites but are facing a UNC team that shoots really well. The Bruins need to avoid fouling UNC and slow down Armando Bacot.
UNC is one of the best free throw shooting teams in the country. They hit 77.2% of their free throws, good enough for the top-20. UCLA has to play smart basketball and avoid fouling UNC. If they commit bad fouls and send UNC to the line, the Tar Heels will make them pay.
Armando Bacot leads UNC in points (16.4), rebounds (12.5), blocks (1.7), and field-goal percentage (.588). He is UNC’s most dangerous scorer, so UCLA has to slow him down. If they slow down Bacot, they will limit UNC’s scoring.
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Guard RJ Davis willed the Tar Heels to victory in their last game. He finished with 30 points, five rebounds, six assists, and one steal. However, the most impressive stat was his minutes on the floor. He was the only UNC player to play all 45 minutes of the overtime game.
Davis needs to take the momentum from the last game into this game. He needs to focus most on scoring, but also needs to rebound and pass a little bit.
Guard Tyger Campbell has shot well all season, but his scoring numbers during the regular season were not that impressive. He averaged 11.8 points in over 32 minutes a game. Something changed in March, and Campbell has averaged 16 points over the last two games. He also is averaging 4.5 assists.
Campbell has to continue looking for his shot and making the right pass. He was doing everything right in the first two games and should continue to do so in this game.
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|UNC Tar Heels vs UCLA Bruins Information|
|What||UNC Tar Heels vs UCLA Bruins|
|Where||Wells Fargo Center, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania|
|When||Friday, March 25, 9:39 PM EST|
|How to Watch||CBS|
Max Heering graduated from the University of Kansas Sport Management program in May 2020. Max follows and writes about the NBA, NFL, MLB, NHL, MLS, college football, and college basketball. In his free time, you can catch Max draining threes on the basketball court. Email: [email protected]More info on Max Heering
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