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Previewing Fairfield

No. 1 North Carolina tips off its home slate against Fairfield on Sunday. Tip-off at the Smith Center is at 4 p.m. and will be televised by ESPNU.

North Carolina (1-0) vs. Fairfield (0-1)
Chapel Hill, N.C. – Dean E. Smith Center
Sunday, 4:00 p.m.
ESPNU (Clay Matvick, LaPhonso Ellis, Tara Petrolino)

Season to Date: Fairfield dropped its season opener to Yale, 70-57, in the Connecticut 6 Classic on Friday. Three different Stags scored eight points to pace the offense, while five others scored at least five points. Fairfield lost despite holding Yale to 37.9 percent shooting, due in part a 47-24 rebounding discrepancy. The Stags shot 40 percent and committed 15 turnovers in the loss.

2014-15 Rewind: The Stags finished last season with a 7-24 (5-15 MAAC) record. Points did not come easy, as evidenced by a 315th ranking in both adjusted offensive efficiency (93.6) and effective field goal percentage (45.2), according to Fairfield lost seven games by two points or less.

Senior Leadership: Preseason All-MAAC first team forward Marcus Gilbert led the Stags with 16.4 points per game last season, good for fifth in the conference. He also averaged 5.6 points and 1.2 assists while starting all 31 games in 2014-15. Gilbert struggled in the season-opening loss to Yale on Friday, fouling out after scoring eight points on 3-of-11 shooting. He grabbed five rebounds and committed a pair of turnovers.

Slowing it Down: Head coach Sydney Johnson prefers a slow tempo, ranking 300th or lower nationally in adjusted tempo, according to, in three of the last four seasons.

Random Stat of the Day: The Stags last played a No. 1-ranked team during the 1998-99 season, when they actually played two top-ranked teams: Connecticut and Duke.

Last Meeting: Dean Smith tied Adolph Rupp’s career victory mark at 876 wins in top-seeded North Carolina’s 82-74 win over Fairfield in the NCAA Tournament first round in Winston-Salem, N.C. Vince Carter led UNC with 22 points and Serge Zwikker added 19 points and 13 rebounds.

Series Record: UNC leads 1-0.

Projected Starters:
1 Jerome Segura (5-11, 175, So.) – 4.0 ppg, 6.0 apg
3 Tyler Nelson (6-3, 170, So.) - 6.0 ppg, 4.0 apg
5 Scott King, Jr. (6-9, 220, Sr.) - 4.0 ppg, 4.0 bpg
14 Marcus Gilbert (6-6, 185, Sr.) - 8.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg
33 Curtis Cobb (6-4, 175, Fr.) - 8.0 ppg, 2.0 apg

Top Reserves:
2 Jerry Johnson (6-2, 210, Fr.) - 5.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
35 Coleman Johnson (6-6, 215, Sr.) - 6.0 ppg, 5.0 rpg

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