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North Carolina Tar Heels vs Kentucky Wildcats Prediction & Match Preview - December 19, 2020 | NCAA Men's Basketball

Elon v North Carolina
Elon v North Carolina
Modified 18 Dec 2020, 09:49 IST

Match Details

Fixture: North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Kentucky Wildcats - NCAA Men's Basketball

Date & Time: Saturday, December 19th, 2020, 2 PM ET

Venue: Rocket Mortgage Fieldhouse, Cleveland, Ohio

The No. 22 North Carolina Tar Heels will face off against the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday afternoon in the CBS Sports Classic. These two teams did not expect to play against each other until Wednesday afternoon. The Tar Heels were originally preparing to play the Ohio State Buckeyes, and the Wildcats were going to face off against the UCLA Bruins. The schedule was changed by the event organizers of each teams conference, who issued the following statement:

more closely align COVID-19 testing protocols between the competing programs and their respective conferences.

Despite the changes in matchups, the game will still played in Cleveland, Ohio. 

North Carolina Tar Heels Preview

The North Carolina Tar Heels are sitting at 4-2 and have no signature win yet on the season. The marquee program's two losses have come against the Iowa Hawkeyes and the Texas Longhorns, two teams ranked in the top 25.


The Tar Heels have yet to reach their potential for the year. To do so, they will need to shoot the ball better from three-point range. North Carolina is shooting just 27 percent from behind the arc.

The North Carolina Tar Heels have shown lots of depth this year. They have four players averaging 11 points or more and Roy Williams routinely plays more than 10 players a game. The Tar Heels will have to continue to get offensive production from multiple players on their team to force the young Kentucky Wildcats to stay disciplined on defense.

Key Player - Armando Bacot

Virginia v North Carolina
Virginia v North Carolina

Armando Bacot is the key player for the North Carolina Tar Heels against the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday. Bacot will have a big size advantage in the paint against the Wildcats. His 6 feet, 10 inches frame will allow him to control the boards and find easy buckets in the paint.

North Carolina Tar Heels Predicted Lineup

Garrison Brooks, Armando Bacot, Leaky Black, Caleb Love, RJ Davis

Kentucky Wildcats Preview

The Kentucky Wildcats have seemed to figured out their backcourt duo moving forward. John Calipari has been vocal about how the team plays better with Terrance Clarke at point guard. Coach Cal kept it simple and to the point when asked about the situation,

I like Terrence at point guard, I like having his hands on the ball.

Despite the slow 1-4 start, the Kentucky Wildcats still feel there is time to turn their season around. To have any success against the North Carolina Tar Heels, the Wildcats will need to get into a foot race. One of Kentucky's struggles is their ability to play in a half-court offense and will look to push the pace against the Tar Heels. As we saw in the previous game against Notre Dame, the Wildcats were able to crawl back from a 22-point halftime deficit after they found themselves switching to a press and pushing the ball quickly up the court allowing them to use their athleticism.

Key Player - Terrence Clarke

State Farm Champions Classic
State Farm Champions Classic

Terrence Clark has been crowned the primary ball-handler for the Kentucky Wildcats. According to Calipari, the five-star recruit is believed to be the key player for the Wildcats to turn their season around.

"How we’re going to play is going to develop now that Terrence is playing point."

Clarke will need to play as he did in the second half of the Notre Dame game in which he had the offense flowing and gave his teammates open looks to have a chance at upsetting the North Carolina Tar Heels.

Kentucky Wildcats Predicted Lineup

Olivier Sarr, Isaiah Jackson, Davion Mintz, Brandon Boston Jr., Terrence Clarke

North Carolina vs. Kentucky Prediction

The North Carolina Tar Heels will take down the Kentucky Wildcats on Saturday. It is just not the Wildcats' year. North Carolina will control the paint and get the young Wildcats into foul trouble.

How to watch North Carolina vs. Kentucky

The game will be broadcasted live on CBS.

Published 18 Dec 2020, 09:49 IST
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