Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Maryland at North Carolina: 3 things to watch

No. 6 North Carolina hosts Maryland tonight (7 p.m., ESPN) at the Smith Center, where the Tar Heels will be celebrating senior night. A victory would enable the Tar Heels to keep pace with Duke atop the ACC standings, and it would set up a regular-season finale in Cameron Indoor Stadium to decide the regular season championship.

But first things first. Some things to watch between the Heels and Terrapins:

How sharp will UNC be? Roy Williams criticized his team’s execution on both offense and defense after the Tar Heels’ 54-51 victory at Virginia on Saturday. The Cavaliers play a slow-it-down pace and they’re an excellent defense team.

Even so, Williams didn’t like the way his team executed on offense, and he didn’t like the way it defended – even though Virginia scored just 51 points. The Tar Heels are a heavy favorite tonight – the line is around 18.5 points, depending on which service you want to cite – and the final result shouldn’t be in doubt.

But simply winning the game won’t be enough for Williams to be satisfied, and another sloppy effort would cause concern heading into the regular season finale on Saturday at Duke. Given it’s senior night at the Smith Center, UNC shouldn’t lack for motivation or intensity.

But will those things translate into sound execution?

Tyler Zeller. Many UNC fans in attendance tonight will likely be seeing Zeller for the final time in person. Along with four other seniors – Justin Watts, Stewart Cooper, Patrick Crouch and David Dupont – Zeller will play his final home game tonight.

Zeller encountered foul trouble in UNC’s first game against Maryland earlier this month, and he played only 22 minutes. But he made the most of them, and finished with a team-high 22 points. He also added seven rebounds.

Zeller is a lock for first-team All-ACC honors, but he’s also a favorite to win player of the year, too. With a strong performance tonight, Zeller could further distance himself from a field of player of the year candidates that includes Virginia’s Mike Scott and UNC teammates John Henson and Harrison Barnes.

Kendall Marshall’s pursuit of history. Marshall enters tonight with 281 assists this season, and he needs three assists to tie Ed Cota’s single-season record of 284, which Cota set during the 1999-00 season.

It’s a near certainty that Marshall will set a school record tonight. He has had at least four assists in every game this season and, in fact, his season-low in assists is four – which he had in that 90-57 loss at Florida State on Jan. 14.

The question isn’t if Marshall sets a school record tonight, but when he will set it. No one would be surprised to see it happen in the first five or 10 minutes of the game.

-- Andrew Carter

32 comments:

Anonymous said...

UNC 84 UM 65

Anonymous said...

heels better win this one, cause they prob won't win saturday.....

Holla!

Anonymous said...

As a Heels fan, something about this game scares me.

Anonymous said...

Heels win the ACC! You can take that to the bank.

Coack K Rat Face said...

As a Heels Fan, NOTHING about this game or against Duke scares me. We win both by at least 10. Statement time! Holla!!

Seth Curry is a monkey face said...

CIAA is in town this week. Why can we not get the ACC Tourney? Would be nice to see Carolina cutting down the nets AGAIN. CIAA is a joke! None of those players could make ANY ACC team roster, but they could make UNCC's....Lol

Anonymous said...

Glad the ACC's are in Atlanta...now teams can play in front of a diverse, supportive crowd as opposed to a bunch of backwoods Walmart Heels fans in Greensboro.

Joe Mamma said...

What does Wal-Mart have to do with the Heels? Go back to your trailer park home troll.

Anonymous said...

Henson= cheater= thug

Buckshot Jenkins said...

Honestly, if you think Henson is a thug then you don't understand the definition of the word.

Anonymous said...

Anon 3:19pm...Henson is far from a thug or cheater. Don't get mad b/c he rejects your teams shots. Want to talk about thugs...look at Mike Scott from UVA...or Kelly, Rivers, Curry, Plumlees x 3 as far as goons are concerned. Heels win by 15 tonight and 10 on Saturday!

Anonymous said...

And how'd he cheat, again?

Anonymous said...

I get it now...UNC-Cheat...very funny. UNC got rid of the thug that did the cheating in football. I can see why people don't like UNC. They rank in the Top 5 in merchandise sales (see Wal-Mart/continue to win ACC and NCAA Championships in basketball-more coming next week and in April, and we win 90% of the time. I get it.

Anonymous said...

People don't hate on UNC because "you" ( what position do you play? ) win. Oh, no. It's the "we do things the Carolina way" B. S. How arrogant do you have to be to appropriate the "right" way and give it your name, as if no other program does things the right way. Give me a break!

Dean Smith said...

We win, you lose, you go home. That is the Carolina Way!

Anonymous said...

Anon 4:05pm. Loser

Dean Smith wears diapers said...

Henson isn't a thug, that is for sure, he plays soft and weak...very un-thug like.

if he played with any heart at all, they might have lived up to that preseason #1....but Roy never gets the most out of his great talent.

It has been nice watching Zeller play his nuts off the last few games, has been a joy.

Your Daddy said...

Pre-Season #1...Yes...Currently #6...after this week #4...April 2012 #1 Overall. Soft...see Plumlees times 3...Ha. Ha!!

Johnny Dawkins said...

Talking about "soft?" Look 8 miles down the road in Durham...what a bunch of goons, trolls, and just plan ugly people. Holla!

Anonymous said...

the soft plumlee's have beaten you tarholes 5 out of the last 6.

i agree, the plumlee's stink, but they have been outplaying you guys, especially on the inside....haha.

will it be 6 of 7 after saturday?

Chris Collins said...

Duke got lucky the last time on a buzzer beater...should not have happened. It did. We lost. This Saturday, we will win by 10. Plumlees get worked and in foul trouble.

Anonymous said...

10 points in Durham? Big talk for a team that D00k has owned for 3 years in a row...

Anonymous said...

Hey "Chris Collins" -- I'll bet you one NIT runner up t shirt that you're the same delusional guy saying the Heels would "beat Dook by 16 in Chapel Hill" 3 weeks back...

Mr. Credibility, no doubt! Do me a favor and cry me a Rivers.

Anonymous said...

If ya wanna talk about dominating um... we hold 131-102 edge in the series and by my count Mr. Hansbrough never lost to duke...i wouldnt call what the plumlees are doing inside as dominating carolina...give me a break and actually watch the games

Anonymous said...

HAHA. Anonymous @3:36 said unc is in the top 5 sales at WALMART. HAHA. I'd be very proud of that! What a tool.

Anonymous said...

The Plumlee's DOMINATE UNCheat. Rivers,curry,dawkins and kelly will mop up cameron with the tarholes' faces.The Plumlee's will punk zeller and hinson,and UNChoke will lose again on sat.Tonight will also be the last home game for barnes,marshall,and hinson,so UNChoke had better do something these next 3 weeks because next year they will go 8-20 hahaha.UNCheat SUX! Wah,wah,wah

Coach K is cancer said...

About the Wal-Mart thing...After Dook won the 2010 Championship...they did not even rank in the Top 25 in sales. Interesting? Nobody wants that crap and also nobody WANTS to be a Dook fan...Lets talk about the past...UNC 131-102. WE OWN DOOK! The past will not lie...losers.

Anonymous said...

Every DOOK fan I have personally either met or seen are 1 of 3 things (so if you're a Dook fan reading this, then which one are you?) 1. Dork 2. Fat 3. Gay

Anonymous said...

Wow....anonymous @4:55 really clowned chris collins! He is right....the tarholes are still wearing those NIT runner up T-shirts lol! It does seem that alot of heel fans who predicted a 16 pt blowout at the DEAN DIAPER dome have disappeared.Duke will win ANOTHER acc regular season title and then the acc tourney championship,which is BECOMING ROUTINE for them.Duke 71-UNCCHOKE 68.Book it!

Anonymous said...

Coach K will lie on the court dying from a heart attack as Zeller dunks the ball as time expires and the Cameron Crazies cry like a bunch of babies. UNC 71 Dook 69.

Anonymous said...

Duke will stomp carolina,plain and simple.Oh,and to the walmart guy,you must be 12 years old or 45 living in your parent's basement! You also must be all 3 of those things you said about duke.Total troll and walmart employee.

Anonymous said...

Neutral fan here. I believe Carolina could very well steal one Saturday...but they can't shoot 39% like they did against Maryland and expect to actually win in Cameron. Of course, if Zeller shoots another 23 free throws who knows...

Duke has owned this rivalry the last few years, let's see if the pendelum swings back in the Heels' favor!