Chapel Hill, NC – The third-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels Florida Hurricanes to Chapel Hill for an ACC showdown at the Dean Smith Center.
Roy Williams' Tar Heels ended the 2011 calendar year with six straight victories and opened the 2012 portion of their schedule with a couple more wins, including opening their league slate last weekend, with an 83-60 rout of Boston College. North Carolina is a perfect 11-0 at home this season and has now won a Smith Center record 27 straight at home.
Jim Larranaga's first season with Miami has been a mixed bag thus far. The majority of the Hurricanes' success has come at home, but the team has yet to prove itself on the road, with losses in four of the first five true road games this season. Miami had a four-game win streak snapped in its ACC-opener, falling to nationally-ranked Virginia in Charlottesville, 52-51.
The Tar Heels have won 16 of the previous 18 meetings with Miami.
Durand Scott missed a layup and couldn't follow up as time expired on the Hurricanes in a one-point loss at Virginia this past weekend. Kenny Kadji led the way in defeat with a double-double of 14 points and 10 rebounds. Scott added 12 points for Miami. The Hurricanes shot a mere 24 percent from the floor in the first half and trailed by nine points at the break. They would rally, but not enough to earn the win. The Hurricanes lack any real scoring punch, despite several players averaging double figures. Miami is averaging 72.0 ppg on .439 shooting. The bulk of the scoring is spread among four of the five starters. Malcolm Grant leads the team with 13.9 ppg. Scott is a close second at 13.2 ppg, followed by Kadji and Reggie Johnson, who chip in 10.9 and 10.0 ppg, respectively.
Harrison Barnes and Tyler Zeller combined for 45 points, as North Carolina opened up ACC play with an emphatic win over Boston College. Barnes was 10- of-15 from the floor and led all scorers with 25 points. Zeller poured in 20, while grabbing eight rebounds. John Henson completed UNC's potent frontcourt trio with 14 points and eight boards, while point guard Kendall Marshall doled out a game-high 11 assists. The win over BC was a blueprint of the season for the Tar Heels. North Carolina has thrived at both ends of the floor, averaging a hefty 87.8 ppg, while allowing just 66.4. Barnes, Henson and Zeller have been the driving force. All three players are shooting over 50 percent from the floor. Barnes, who can score from anywhere, leads the team with 17.6 ppg. Henson (14.9 ppg, 9.9 rpg) and Zeller (14.3 ppg, 8.8 rpg) are a potent one-two punch in the low post. Marshall (5.4 ppg) doesn't score much, but is one of the nation's premier distributors (10.0 apg).