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COLLEGE BASKETBALL: JAN 24 North Carolina at Syracuse

by Sharon Thorsland

It’s been eight days since North Carolina last played, a hard fought victory over Syracuse. So it’s a well-rested UNC team that welcomes Pitt to town Wednesday night, and the Tar Heels are no doubt looking for a little revenge after losing by two to the Panthers back in December. The win over Syracuse improved the Tar Heels to 15-6 overall and more importantly 7-3 in ACC play. Pitt is 8-3 in league play and 15-7 overall after an upset of 20th ranked Miami on Saturday. Tip-off is set for 7:00 on WBT.

The number one job for the Tar Heels in this matchup is to contain Jamarius Burton. The Pitt guard was unstoppable in their first meeting, scoring a career-high 31 points. That’s got to change this time out or it could be another long night. Burton was also key in helping to hold Caleb Love to just seven points. Love appears to have broken out of his slump though, nailing three straight 3-pointers against Syracuse. He and the Tar Heels will no doubt key on Burton this time out, but the Panthers have plenty of other scoring threats, including forward Blake Hinson, who leads the team with over 16 points and 6.5 rebounds per game.

Getting the ball inside against a physical Pitt team will also be key. UNC was outscored in the paint 42-26 in the first game. But Pitt center Fede Federiko will have all he can handle in Armando Bacot, who leads the ACC in rebounding and is second in scoring. The Tar Heels will need a big night from him again, Bacot had 22 points and 13 boards in the first matchup.   >>> Go Heels!

Rested UNC Team hosts the Pitt Panthers  was originally published on