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East Carolina (6-1) at (21) North Carolina (7-2)



Saturday, December 15, 12 p.m. (et)

The Sports Network

By Scott Haynes, Senior College Basketball Editor

FACTS & STATS: Site: Dean E. Smith Center (21,750) -- Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Television: ESPNU. Home Record: ECU 5-0, UNC 4-0. Away Record: ECU 1-1, UNC 1-1. Neutral Record: ECU 0-0, UNC 2-1. Conference Record: ECU 0-0, UNC 0-0. Series Record: North Carolina leads, 2-0.

GAME NOTES: The 21st-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels get back to work on Saturday, when they play host to the surging East Carolina Pirates in non- conference action at the Smith Center.

Roy Williams' squad is 7-2 on the season, with the two losses coming to Butler in Maui (82-71) and at top-ranked Indiana (83-59) a week later. The Tar Heels have rallied however, with a pair of home wins since then, routing both UAB (102-84) and most recently, East Tennessee State (78-55).

Former Tar Heel Jeff Lebo has his Pirates playing at a high level thus far. East Carolina has won six of its first seven games, with the lone loss coming at Charlotte (76-64) to open December action. The Pirates have put some distance between themselves and that loss, getting back in the win column with last week's 111-59 whipping of St. Andrew's.

This is just the third time that these two instate foes have met on the hardwood. North Carolina has won both prior matchups, including an 85-65 decision in the last meeting that took place in the 1993 NCAA Tournament.

The Pirates made light work of winless St. Andrew's recording their best offensive showing of the season. ECU emptied the bench, with 16 players seeing the court in the game and shot a solid 50.7 percent from the floor, thanks to a scorching 56.4 percent in the first half. The Pirates made good on 18-of-36 3-point attempts in the game, outrebounded St. Andrew's 51-35 and forced their overmatched opponent into 16 turnovers. Akeem Richmond and Shamarr Bowden led the way with 15 points apiece off the bench. Paris Campbell added 11 points in the lopsided victory.

The Pirates have been effective at both ends of the floor this season and come into this contest boasting of a +17.1 scoring margin. Offensively, the team is netting a steady 79.1 ppg, shooting a solid .457 from the floor overall. Maurice Kemp has been the team's top option. The 6-foot-8 senior has been a strong frontcourt presence, averaging 16.7 ppg, while grabbing 8.1 rpg. Kemp is joined up front by fellow forward Robert Sampson, who averages 9.6 ppg, while leading ECU in rebounding at 8.9 rpg. Miguel Paul provides backcourt balance, netting 12.6 ppg, while pacing the team in assists (4.2 apg).

The Tar Heels have been a streaky offensive team this season and the 20- point win over the Buccaneers last time out was certainly evidence of that. UNC posted a 20-point win despite shooting just .425 from the field. Leslie McDonald led the way in the win with 14 points. Brice Johnson added 12 points, while Reggie Bullock finished with 10. Star forward James Michael McAdoo had a quiet outing, finishing with just nine points and two rebounds in 23 minutes of work.

McAdoo has been far more dominant on the season, as the 6-foot-9 sophomore is converting almost half of his shots and is averaging team-highs of 15.0 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. The team as a whole is netting 83.4 ppg, ranking seventh nationally in scoring, so there is plenty of depth behind McAdoo. Reggie Bullock is second in the scoring column at 12.0 ppg. P.J. Hairston and McDonald are also in double figures at 10.9 and 10.3 ppg, respectively. Bullock, Hairston and McDonald have the green light to launch it up from long range, combining for 58 of the team's 75 3-pointers to date.

East Carolina is off to a fast start and it would be a huge boost to the team's confidence to get a win in Chapel Hill. However, the Tar Heels have taken care of business at home this season and should be able to win this one over an instate rival.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Carolina 77, East Carolina 69

12/15 10:37:42 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
NYR 1
CAR 0
Final
TOR 118
NYK 108
Final
CLE 105
MEM 91
Final
MIA 100
BOS 84
Final
BRK 110
DET 105
Final
SAC 108
LAL 101
Final
ORL 88
PHI 96
Final
WAS 92
PHO 104
Final
MIN 96
IND 100
Final
OKC 99
NOP 101
Final
UVA 76
HARV 27
Final
BGU 68
FERST 82
 
Final
ARMY 72
MAINE 69
 
Final
QUIN 60
ORST 52
Final
CLST 69
USF 65
 
Final
CARK 55
CCAR 72
 
Final
UWGB 66
ARKLR 46
 
Final
RAD 74
CORN 61
 
Final
UNT 62
CREI 58
Final
CAN 67
HC 48
 
Final
USB 67
GHND 52
 
Final
OKST 64
MD 73
Final
WINT 100
REIN 72
 
Final
UGST 68
SMISS 55
Final
NEOM 77
TXPA 72
 
Final
STLU 58
VERM 55
 
Final
UNCA 62
WCU 66
 
Final
EVAN 81
ALAST 63
 
Final
HART 82
FIU 69
 
Final
VALPO 82
GOSHEN 55
 
Final
LIP 69
PEAY 63
 
Final
DEN 46
BRY 48
 
Final
MONT 62
SD 67
 
Final
MTST 65
TENST 47
Final
SAMF 64
LAMON 50
 
Final
SCAR 78
COKR 52
 
Final
HAMP 75
NARZ 66
 
Final
SDU 71
SDCHR 61
 
Final
BC 71
USC 75
Final
NICST 64
TROY 65
 
Final
BRAD 47
UCI 55
 
Final
UGA 65
SHU 47
Final
ALA 60
APP 59
Final
KSU 53
NDST 52
 
Final
WASU 82
SJST 53
2nd
UTEP 48
ALCOR 17
 
1st
SEAT 21
SACST 10
 
Final
DET 1
COL 2
Final
EDM 5
DAL 6
Final
BOS 4
BUF 3
Final
NYR 1
CAR 0
Final
CHI 4
TOR 0
2nd
WIN 3
PHI 1
 
Final
NOS 14
ATL 30
Final
HOU 25
BAL 13
Final
CAR 17
CLE 13
Final
CHI 14
DET 20
Final
TAM 3
GBP 20
Final
PIT 20
KAN 12
Final
MIA 37
MIN 35
Final
NYJ 16
NEP 17
Final
STL 27
NYG 37
Final
OAK 26
BUF 24
Final
DAL 42
IND 7
3rd
ARI 3
SEA 14