The North Carolina Tar Heels will head to Florida for their first road trip of 2021 to take on the Miami Hurricanes. Both teams need a win as they started their conference play poorly with a combined 1-5 record in the ACC.
Fixture: North Carolina Tar Heels vs. Miami Hurricanes - NCAA Men's Basketball
Date & Time: Tuesday, January 5th, 2021, 8 PM ET
Venue: Watsco Center, Coral Gables, Florida
North Carolina Tar Heels Preview
The North Carolina Tar Heels will look to continue their winning start to the new year after recently securing a nail-biting victory over the Notre Dame Fighting Irish, 66-65.
The Tar Heels had a huge +20 rebounding margin (51-31), including their 21-3 advantage on the offensive glass against Notre Dame.
If North Carolina can continue to get second-chance opportunities and improve their shooting from their season-low 35% field goal accuracy against Notre Dame, they will have no issues against the Miami Hurricanes.
Key Player - Day'Ron Sharpe
The key player for the North Carolina Tar Heels is Day'Ron Sharpe. The freshman forward scored over a third of his teams' points against Notre Dame, with a season-high 25 points. His performance earned him the ACC Freshman of the Week tag.
If Sharpe can continue to be dominant and maintain his offensive efficiency, the Miami Hurricanes will be outmatched in the frontcourt.
North Carolina Tar Heels Predicted Lineup
F Armando Bacot, F Day'Ron Sharpe, F Kerwin Walton, G Leaky Black, G Caleb Love
Miami Hurricanes Preview
The Miami Hurricanes are coming off a loss to the Clemson Tigers, 66-65, and dropped to 0-3 in the ACC.
The Hurricanes have struggled with health this season. Due to injury, their biggest loss is last year's scoring leader, Chris Lykes, who has been out with an ankle injury.
Luckily, the Hurricanes got their senior guard Kameron McGusty, back from a hamstring injury. However, he is still not fully confident with his health. He said in this regard:
"I'm trying to figure out what I can and can't do with my hamstring."
Despite the challenges this season, Miami coach, Jim Larranaga, believes his team has grown and will only continue to improve. He said:
"Adversity tends to develop character, and we've had a lot of adversity."
Miami will need to continue to battle adversity and will hope that their young team can outplay the talented North Carolina Tar Heels.
Key Player - Isaiah Wong
Isaiah Wong is the key play for the Miami Hurricanes. The sophomore guard has shown great improvement from last season, where he only averaged 7.7 points a game. This year, he puts up 17.9 points a game and is the leading scorer on 46.6% shooting.
If Wong can outbattle the North Carolina Tar Heels guards, he will give his team a chance at earning their first win in the ACC.
Miami Hurricanes Predicted Lineup
F Nysier Brooks, F Harlong Beverly, C Matt Cross, G Elijah Olaniyi, G Isaiah Wong
North Carolina vs Miami Prediction
The North Carolina Tar Heels will go to 2-2 in the ACC after defeating the Miami Hurricanes on Tuesday night.
The Tar Heels will increase their shooting percentage from the previous game against Notre Dame as they have the best player on the court in Day'Ron Sharpe.
Where to watch North Carolina vs Miami
The game will be broadcast live on ESPN.
Published 05 Jan 2021, 10:59 IST