UNC Basketball vs. Gardner-Webb Game preview

The UNC basketball program looks to continue its non-conference success as they host Gardner-Webb on Tuesday night in Chapel Hill.

Hubert Davis and the UNC basketball program are back in action on Tuesday night, as they’ll host non-conference foe Gardner-Webb at the Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.

The Tar Heels are coming off a victory against the College of Charleston, a contest in which North Carolina trailed by seven points heading into the half. Thanks in large part to a dominant second half from Armando Bacot, the UNC basketball program was able to secure the victory and biscuits for the fans.

Coming into this contest, the Runnin’ Bulldogs have struggled. With an 0-2 record, they’ll look to secure their first victory of the season by upsetting the current No. 1 ranked team in the country.

Here’s a look at what to expect in this contest:

Key to Victory

It is critical that the Tar Heels don’t take anyone lightly this season.

In their first two games of the 2022-2023 season, North Carolina has yet to put together a strong full-game performance. Of course, it’s very early in the season, but this is a game in which the Tar Heels can put together one of those outings that we’re all looking for.

The Tar Heels need to come out right out of the gate and take control of the game. Coming off a strong second half against the College of Charleston, can the players build off that and put together a dominant performance?

We’ll have to wait and see.

Something to Watch

There are two major factors to watch for in this one.

First, the Tar Heels have struggled from beyond the arc, especially Caleb Love. The Tar Heels (notably Love) have shot the ball well from within the arc, but haven’t quite found the touch from deep just yet.

In order to space the floor, North Carolina has to start knocking down shots. Can Love, and fellow backcourt member RJ Davis, get the shooting stroke going?

Additionally, the Tar Heels have a big size advantage against Gardner-Webb. In their first two contests, North Carolina was outrebounded, which is both rather shocking and disappointing.

This is a game that the UNC basketball program must take over the boards. It would be inexcusable for them to be outrebounded by a Runnin’ Bulldogs team that doesn’t nearly have the size that the Tar Heels have.

Last Matchup

On November 15, 2019, the Roy Williams-led Tar Heels defeated the Runnin’ Bulldogs by a score of 77-61.

Cole Anthony led the way with a game-high 28 points. He made seven of his 17 shots from the floor, but did most of his damage at the free-throw line, as he knocked in 11 of his 13 attempts at the charity strike.

Armando Bacot was the only other Tar Heel to score in double figures, as he posted a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double performance in the victory.

Christian Keeling and Andrew Platek scored 9 points apiece, while Justin Pierce contributed eight points of his own.

Projected Starting Lineup

No. 4 RJ Davis (Jr., 6-0, 175) – 14.0 ppg, 3.5 rpg, 2.0 apg
No. 2 Caleb Love (Jr., 6-4, 200) – 21.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 3.0 apg
No. 1 Leaky Black (Gr., 6-9 205) – 11.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 0.0 apg
No. 32 Pete Nance (Gr. 6-11, 230) – 6.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 2.5 apg
No. 5 Armando Bacot (Sr., 6-11, 235) – 22.0 ppg, 7.5 rpg, 1.5 bpg

What You Need to Know

WHAT? North Carolina Tar Heels (2-0) vs. Gardner-Webb Runnin’ Bulldogs (0-2,)
WHEN? Tuesday, November 14, 2022, at 8:00 PM EST
WHERE? Dean Smith Center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina
TV? ACC Network
RADIO? Tar Heels Sports Network
LINE? UNC -20
LAST MEETING? UNC defeated Gardner-Webb 77-61 on November 15, 2019
ALL-TIME SERIES? UNC leads the series 5-0
PREDICTION? UNC 88, Gardner-Webb 67

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