Sunday, December 23, 2007

ACC Game of the Week (12/23-12/30) - Nevada vs. #1 North Carolina (12/27)

The best ACC game you'll find this week is on Thursday as the Nevada Wolf Pack come to Chapel Hill to play the number one ranked Tar Heels of North Carolina. While it's unrealistic to expect Nevada to have the quality depth that the Tar Heels possess you shouldn't sleep on the Wolf Pack. The good news for Wolf Pack fans is that after a rough start their team has won their last 5 games and are finally beginning to come into their own. NBA prospect Marcelus Kemp has increased his scoring average to 19.1 and is averaging almost 6 boards a game. He should keep Nevada in the game and even give them a shot to win if North Carolina plays horribly. Unfortunately for these same fans UNC is on an eleven game winning streak and will probably not play bad enough for them to lose this game. Here is a quick look at the matchup:

1. Point Guard - UNC's laser quick Sophomore Tywon Lawson is one of the best point guards in the country. He's so good that the best song in the history of youtube basketball clips was used in his video (the song is 'Cold World' by Tribeca). In fact, I'm willing to bet that Bobby Frasor, UNC's backup point guard, would be too much for Nevada to handle. Who is Nevada's point guard you ask? Well I looked a second a go and it's a guy name Armon Johnson. No disrespect Armon but I think it's going to be a long day for you. Advantage Tar Heels.

2. Shooting Guard - The best player in this match up is UNC Sophomore Wayne Ellington. Ellington, the 06's McDonald's All American, is averaging a little over 17 points a contest and can score with any guard in the country. While Nevada's Brandon Fields has averaged a respectable 12.5 point per game he won't be able to outshine Ellington. Advantage - Tar Heels.

3. Small Forward - This will be the best match up of the night. Nevada's Marcelus Kemp can ball. Plain and simple. He was an NBA prospect last season and decided to come back for his Senior season to drop even more buckets. Across from him will be UNC Junior Marcus Ginyard. For those that don't know Ginyard is a lock down on ball defender. In fact he is the best on ball defender in the ACC and perhaps the country. His athleticism and length give most college guards fits. While Ginyard will probably force Kemp to shoot tough shots Kemp will probably score a lot as his team will need all the points they can get. Advantage - Wolf Pack.

4. Power Forward - This is the only position on the court where both teams don't get much production. North Carolina's 6'8, 240lbs. Sophomore Deon Thompson was supposed to be the perfect compliment to All Everything Center Tyler Hansbrough. Last season he shot almost 56% from the field but this season he has seen his field goal percentage dip to 48%. On the other side Nevada's Sophomore power forward is not really asked to do much offensively. He is mainly in the lineup to provide a big body down low. Normally I would say this matchup is a wash but because Thompson is the more talented player the Heels get the nod here. Advantage - Tar Heels.

5. Center - UNC has Tyler Hansbrough and the Wolf Pack don't. The Wolfpack's starting center these day is 6'11 Flint, Michigan native JaVale McGee. While at first glance it seems like this will be UNC's biggest advantage it actually is not. McGee is a talented big guy averaging almost 13 points and 9 boards a game. Against a California-Berkeley's big time front court (both interior players for the Bears are NBA prospects) JaVale scored 19, had 9 rebounds, and blocked 6 shots. While I think he will cause Tyler problems at times with his length Tyler should get the best of this match up due to his experience and overall skill level. Hansbrough is everyone's All-America and deservedly so. Advantage Tar Heels.

Bench - UNC has at least 5 guys that could probably start on Nevada. UNC's Danny Green is averaging 13 off the bench and would be probably be the Wolf Pack's second best player if here on their team. Advantage Tar Heels.

Coaches - I'll take Roy Williams over most coaches in the country. Mark Fox is a very good coach but he has a ways to go before he builds a resume quite like Roy's. Advantage Tar Heels.

That's 6-1 in favor of North Carolina. From this you might say that I don't think the Wolf Pack have a shot.....You're right. Should still be enjoyable as Nevada does have NCAA tournament experience and should put up a fight.

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