5 keys for No. 2 Syracuse against inconsistent Tar Heels

first_img Published on January 11, 2014 at 1:01 am Contact David: [email protected] | @DBWilson2 The only real way to beat this year’s bizarro North Carolina team seems to be for Syracuse to somehow convince the Tar Heels that the Orange isn’t the No. 2 team in the country. Maybe wear some Wake Forest jerseys or sport some Belmont apparel. Princeton wears orange, too, right?Unfortunately for SU, that seems to be an unlikely tactic, so here are five more ways that Syracuse can be sure to avoid an upset against UNC on Saturday at noon in the Carrier Dome.1. Make North Carolina shoot. A lot.The Tar Heels make fewer 3-pointers per game than all but two teams in the nation. Players not named Marcus Paige have made just 19 3-pointers. Leslie McDonald’s 12 rank second on the team. He’s played six games. So let them shoot. Don’t stretch out on them too much. They’re probably not going to make them anyway.Quick aside about Paige: UNC goes as he goes. He shoots almost 14 percent better in North Carolina’s wins. He’ll match up with Tyler Ennis a lot and will provide the freshman with as tough a task he’s had this year other than maybe Justin Cobbs. Of course, Ennis did drop 28 against the California point guard.2. This could be Jerami Grant’s kind of game. Let him loose.The Tar Heels love to run. I watched those games against the Demon Deacons and Miami (Fla.), and I’m pretty sure UNC only scores on dunks. There’s no player in the country who boasts a better combination of dunk making and dunk stopping than Grant. Let him loose. He can run with the up-tempo Tar Heels.AdvertisementThis is placeholder text3. C.J. Fair can’t start slow again.Fair’s been the leading scorer in both of the Orange’s Atlantic Coast Conference games, but he hasn’t been his usually dominant self. After a 72-52 win against Virginia Tech, the forward said that SU needs to start fast and put the Tar Heels away before they can keep it close. Maybe if he hits his jumpers early in the game then Syracuse can do that.4. The big men have looked pretty good lately. Now’s not a good time for that to change.Rakeem Christmas has missed just 10 field goals this season. He’s shooting better than 75 percent from the field, and now the Orange will likely have DaJuan Coleman back in an expanded role. UNC’s strength is in its post play with Brice Johnson and James Michael McAdoo. If SU’s big men keep up their recent play, they should be able to at least slow down North Carolina’s potent duo.5. Get back on defense.Barring a miraculous showing from the arc, the only way the Tar Heels pull off the upset is if they can beat Syracuse up and down the floor. If the Orange can set up its zone, UNC is going to have a tough time getting to the rim, but a couple dunks could get North Carolina going. SU can neutralize that by — cliché alert — matching the Tar Heels’ hustle. UNC won’t win if it has to shoot over and dribble through the zone. Comments Facebook Twitter Google+last_img

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