Thursday, December 12, 2013

Kentucky vs. North Carolina Preview

(Yes, that's a MALE tramp stamp… I'm not here to judge)

The Cats had one of their better defensive games this past Tuesday night holding the Nations highest scoring team (92.2ppg) to a total of 55 points. The biggest reason for that was the fact that Willie Cauley-Stein tallied 9 blocks by nights end, something Kentucky will need more of as the head to Chapel Hill to take on #18 North Carolina. 

After taking some time off from the series, the two teams will clash once again Saturday afternoon. If you're a Kentucky fan then you know everything there is to know about the Tar Heels, but just incase you've been living under a rock your entire life, here's a look at some of the history of UNC…


First off, I'm sure some of you are wondering just what in the hell is a Tar Hell. Well, here's how Wikipedia defines the term…

Tar Heel- The exact etymology of the nickname is unknown, but most experts believe its roots come from the fact that tarpitch, and turpentine created from the vast pine forests were some of North Carolina's most important exports early in the state's history. For a time after the Civil War, the name Tar Heel was derogatory, but it was later reappropriated by the people of North Carolina.

Now that we know (sort of) what a Tar Heel is, let's look at some other history of UNC…

EST: 1789


LOCATION: Chapel Hill, North Carolina 

COLORS: Carolina (baby) Blue/White


MASCOT: Rameses

CONFERENCE: Atlantic Coast Conference (ACC)


Andy Griffith- No explanation needed as to why he is famous R.I.P

James K Polk- 11th President of the United States

William R. King- 13th Vice President of the United States

Michael Jordan- No explanation needed here either, at least I hope not

Vince Carter- NBA

Rasheed Wallace- NBA

Jerry Stackhouse- NBA

Davis Love III- PGA

Caleb Bradham- Inventor of Pepsi-Cola

Now that all of that is out of the way, here's a little info on this years team to get you sorta up to speed with things.

This will be the third ranked opponent Kentucky has faced already this year as Carolina comes into the game ranked #18. I've heard some people say that the Tar Heels aren't very good this season, but they have two wins over ranked opponents so far this season #1 Michigan State and #3 Louisville, so this team should NOT be taken lightly.

There are several players on Carolina's team that the Cats will have to keep an eye on, but I think one in particular will have to somewhat contained for Kentucky to have any hope of leaving Chapel Hill with a W, Marcus Paige. Paige can score the ball in a variety of ways and will be an EXTREME defensive test for Kentucky's guards. Marcus has put up 32pts against the Cards and 26pts against Richmond so it's safe to say that he will have a career game against the Cats as most opposing players do, Kentucky just can't let him do so much damage that they can't recover or overcome.

Here's a look at how these two historic teams stack up against each other…


               UNC     UK

PPG:        78        81

RPG:        42        44

APG:        16        13

SPG:           8          4

BPG:           5          8

TPG:         13        13

FG%:        47        48

FT%:         61        67

3P%:         29        32

At first glance it looks like these two teams are pretty even in the statistic department, but at a closer look there's one stat that you should be a little worried about. The fact that Carolina averages 8 steals per contest and the Cats average 13 turnovers is a cause for concern. With UNC's crafty quick guard play, turnovers could be the deciding factor in this game if Kentucky doesn't value each and every possession. There cannot be careless turnovers or Julius Randle spinning in the lane only to have it stripped by a defender, the MUST take care of the ball if they going to have a shot at winning this game.

There is two more stats that's worth noting. You're not alone when you noticed we are finally playing a team that statistically we shoot 3's and free-throws better than. Now, come Saturday you no that will not be the case, but still nice to see every now and then if only on paper.


There is SO much history between these two school I thought very seriously skipping this part, instead, I'll just give a few highlights…

North Carolina is one of only a hand full of schools who have a winning record against Kentucky with a record of 22-13. Yes you read that right, 22-13. The last meeting between the two came in Rupp Arena when Anthony Davis had the block heard around the college basketball world allowing the Cats to escape with a 73-72 victory.

Saturday will be an interesting game to say the least. This will be the first true road game this young Kentucky team has had this season and for it to be against a ranked Carolina team is somewhat nerve-racking. I will be interested to see how this years team will respond to such a challenge. It all begins Saturday at 5:15pm. GO CATS…….

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