A couple of teams needing confidence go head to head in the ACC on Tuesday when North Carolina travels to face Miami.
The Tar Heels (6-4, 1-2) have gotten off to a rocky start in conference play with losses to NC State (79-76) and Georgia Tech (72-67). They barely squeaked out a 66-65 win at home over Notre Dame on Saturday.
The Hurricanes (4-4, 0-3) have had a tough start but have looked competitive. Following an ugly 70-55 loss to Pittsburgh to open up league play, they gave both Virginia Tech (80-78) and Clemson (66-65) everything they could handle in close losses.
UNC enters as a 3.5-point favorite on the road.
Here’s everything you need to know to watch UNC vs. Miami.
How to watch UNC vs. Miami: Time, TV channel, live stream
- Time: 8 p.m. ET
- TV channel: ESPN
- Live stream: WatchESPN
North Carolina vs. Miami will tip off at 8 p.m. ET at the Watsco Center in Coral Gables, Fla.. The game will be broadcast on ESPN and can be live streamed on the WatchESPN app.
Isaiah Wong vs. Leaky Black
With Chris Lykes (ankle) out for Tuesday’s game, Miami will lean heavily on sophomore guard Isaiah Wong for offensive production. Wong leads the Hurricanes with 17.9 points per game on 46.6 percent shooting from the field and 31.1 percent from 3-point range. He hasn’t been at his best the last two games — 16 points on 4-of-11 shooting in the loss to No. 19 Virginia Tech and 13 points on 3-of-8 in the loss to No. 19 Clemson (yes, they’re both ranked 19th in this week’s AP poll) — and will likely need to step it up to give the Hurricanes a fighting chance.
Miami is not a great 3-point shooting team, especially without Lykes (5-of-11 in two games this season). The Canes are shooting 28 percent from outside this season, worst in the ACC. However, the Tar Heels aren’t very good at defending the perimeter. Opponents are shooting 35.8 percent from three on the season and 42.0 percent in ACC play.
North Carolina will need to concentrate its efforts on slowing down Wong. That task will likely be given to junior guard Leaky Black. Black has struggled offensively this year (36.8 FG%, 20.0 3P%, 1.4 TOV), though his game-winning bucket in the previous win over Notre Dame may give him some confidence. But his calling card has been on the defensive end as UNC’s most versatile defender.
Day’Ron Sharpe, Armando Bacot, Garrison Brooks vs. Nysier Brooks, Matt Cross
When two teams that can’t shoot go head to head, the difference often comes to rebounding. The advantage there lies with North Carolina, with its loaded front court of preseason ACC Player of the Year Garrison Brooks, sophomore Armando Bacot and freshman Day’Ron Sharpe.
The Tar Heels’ trio is averaging a combined 31.6 points and 23.4 rebounds per game. Sharpe appears to be emerging as the team’s go-to man, coming off a 25-point, nine-rebound performance against Notre Dame. A lot of his success, along with Brooks and Bacot, is predicated on physicality and effort.
Miami’s front court duo of Nysier Brooks and Matt Cross will have to match that effort to keep UNC from getting second-chance points and force the Tar Heels to make shots. They’ve done an OK job of that this season, outrebounding opponents in six out of eight contests, with the most offensive rebounds conceded being 11 against Purdue. That mark will definitely be put to the test; North Carolina is averaging 14.6 offensive boards per game.
Conversely, Miami’s bigs could give the Heels some trouble. More precisely, Cross could give them significant problems. The 6-7 freshman is a classic stretch four, shooting 45.8 percent from 3-point range. He might be the Hurricanes’ only reliable shooter, but again, the Tar Heels have struggled with giving teams open looks. They just gave up 25 points to ND’s Nate Laszewski, so don’t be surprised to see Cross have a good game. His outside shooting could be an equalizer for North Carolina’s rebounding.