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(19) North Carolina (10-3) at Wake Forest (10-3)



The Sports Network

DATE & TIME: Sunday, January 5, 8 p.m. (ET)

FACTS & STATS: Site: LJVM Coliseum (14,665) -- Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Television: ESPN U. Home Record: UNC 7-2, Wake Forest 9-0. Away Record: UNC 1-1, Wake Forest 0-1. Neutral Record: UNC 2-0, Wake Forest 1-2. Conference Record: UNC 0-0, Wake Forest 0-0. Series Record: North Carolina leads, 155-65.

GAME NOTES: A pair of 10-3 teams will face off at the LJVM Coliseum on Sunday night, as the Wake Forest Demon Deacons play host to the 19th-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels in the Atlantic Coast Conference opener for each side.

UNC has made a splash on the national radar this season with one of the country's most impressive resumes, having already defeated Louisville (93-84), Michigan State (79-65) and Kentucky (82-77), three nationally-ranked teams with a combined six losses coming into the weekend. The Tar Heels are currently winners of three straight, most recently downing UNC Wilmington at home last Tuesday, 84-51.

Wake Forest has been impressive in its own right this season, especially at LJVM Coliseum, where it has gone unbeaten in nine outings. The Deacons had been winners of four in a row prior to facing off with Xavier on the road on Dec. 28, when they came away with a 68-53 setback.

After 220 all-time meetings between these intrastate rivals, UNC holds a comfortable 155-65 advantage over Wake Forest. The Tar Heels took last season's matchup in Chapel Hill, 87-62.

The Tar Heels' most recent contest was never in question, as they outshot UNCG from the field, 52.3 percent to 31.1 percent, on their way to the 33-point victory. James Michael McAdoo was the catalyst in the easy win, shooting 11- of-14 from the floor on his way to 23 points while collecting 10 rebounds for good measure. Marcus Paige scored 15 points and swiped three steals, while Leslie McDonald and Brice Johnson each contributed 14 points off the bench.

UNC has grown accustomed to these types of well-rounded efforts this season, as it shoots 47.4 percent from the field for 80.1 ppg, while allowing just 68.5 ppg on 37.9 percent shooting. It also consistently comes out ahead in the rebounding (+5.5) and turnover (+2.7) battles. Paige has been outstanding in his sophomore season, scoring 18.4 ppg, while sporting a nearly flawless free- throw percentage (64-of-69). McAdoo (14.7 ppg, 5.9 rpg), Johnson (11.4 ppg, 6.7 rpg) and J.P. Tokoto (10.2 ppg, 5.5 rpg) are all important factors down low, while McDonald (12.3 ppg) has been an asset in his four games since returning from suspension.

The Deacons had an uncharacteristically poor showing in their most recent contest, as they shot just 35.8 percent from the field and 47.6 percent from the free-throw line in the 15-point defeat at the hands of Xavier. With just 53 points, it was their worst offensive performance of the season, which spoiled a solid effort on the defensive end of the floor, as they held Xavier to under 40 percent shooting. Codi Miller-McIntyre netted 11 points to lead the way, while Coron Williams chipped in with 10.

The performance was an exception rather than the rule for Wake Forest this season, as it scores 75.6 points per game (for a +8.7 scoring margin) on 45 percent efficiency from the field, while also proving to be an outstanding rebounding club, grabbing 42.8 per game for a +7.3 margin. Miller-McIntyre is the unquestioned go-to performer, pouring in 17.0 ppg. Devin Thomas (11.5 ppg, 9.3 rpg) is a nightly double-double threat, while Travis McKie and Williams each score 10.4 ppg.

Wake Forest's dominance at home cannot be overlooked, and while UNC has been impressive this season, it is far from infallible. Still, the Tar Heels have made a habit of stepping up in big spots this season and is more than capable of capturing a strong road win here to open up 1-0 in the ACC.

Sports Network Predicted Outcome: North Carolina 77, Wake Forest 73

01/05 10:32:40 ET

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Scoreboard
Local
Final
NOR 3
DUR 5
 
Final
PIT 0
CAR 10
 
5:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
7:35pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
Final
CIN 7
CHC 2
Final
DET 3
NYY 2
Final
SFG 4
COL 1
Final
BAL 5
TAM 4
Final
NYM 1
ATL 6
Final
CWS 2
CLE 3
Final
KAN 5
MIN 11
Final
HOU 4
TEX 2
Final
ANA 4
OAK 3
7:05pm Tonight
PIT
CIN
 
7:05pm Tonight
BAL
MIN
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
NYY
 
7:10pm Tonight
TAM
BOS
 
7:10pm Tonight
NYM
PHI
 
7:35pm Tonight
ATL
MIA
 
8:10pm Tonight
KAN
CLE
 
8:10pm Tonight
CWS
DET
 
8:10pm Tonight
HOU
TEX
 
8:15pm Tonight
STL
CHC
 
9:40pm Tonight
ARI
COL
 
10:05pm Tonight
ANA
OAK
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
LOS
 
10:10pm Tonight
SEA
WAS
 
10:15pm Tonight
SFG
MIL
 
Final
SCAR 28
TEXAM 52
Final
LAMON 17
WAKE 10
Final
MISS 35
BSU 13
Final
TULSA 38
TULA 31
Final
WASU 38
RUTG 41
Final
ARST 45
WEBER 14
Final
VANDY 7
TEMPL 37
7:00pm Tonight
UCONN
BYU
7:30pm Tonight
WKENT
BGU
7:30pm Tonight
MSU
JVST
9:00pm Tonight
COL
COLST
9:00pm Tonight
HOU
TXSANANTO
10:30pm Tonight
ARZ
UNLV
Final
JAC 14
ATL 24
 
Final
BUF 0
DET 23
 
Final
CIN 35
IND 7
 
Final
GBP 34
KAN 14
 
Final
PHI 37
NYJ 7
 
Final
MIA 14
STL 13
 
Final
PIT 0
CAR 10
 
Final
NYG 16
NEP 13
 
Final
TAM 10
WAS 24
 
Final
NOS 13
BAL 22
 
Final
CLE 33
CHI 13
 
Final
DAL 3
DEN 27
 
Final
TEN 3
MIN 19
 
Final
HOU 13
SFX 40
 
Final
SDC 12
ARI 9
 
Final
OAK 41
SEA 31
 
Final
NOR 3
DUR 5
 
5:05pm Tonight
NOR
DUR
 
7:35pm Tonight
NOR
DUR