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Previewing Davidson

No. 9 North Carolina welcomes undefeated Davidson to town on Sunday before its exam break. Tip-off at the Smith Center is set for 6 p.m. and can be seen on ESPNU.

North Carolina (6-1) vs. Davidson (5-0)
Chapel Hill, N.C. – Dean E. Smith Center
Sunday, 6 p.m.
ESPNU (Mike Morgan, Jason Capel)


Season to Date: Davidson enters Sunday's contest with a 5-0 record. The Wildcats are off to their best start to a season since 1968-69, when they jumped out to an 8-0 record under head coach Lefty Driesell. Davidson pounded UNC-Charlotte in its last game, defeating the 49ers by a score of 109-74 with NBA MVP Stephen Curry in attendance.  

Gibbs’ Hot Start: Junior guard Jack Gibbs has scorched opposing defenses this season, averaging 26 points per game on 55% shooting. Gibbs earned himself a spot on the early-season Naismith Watch list. In Tuesday’s win over UNC-Charlotte, Gibbs poured in a career-high 41 points on 14-of-17 shooting. He has potential to create massive problems for UNC defensively, especially if he can get hot early. Gibbs hit his first 14 shots from the field against the 49ers, six of which coming from behind the 3-point line.  

Senior Sullivan: Senior guard Brian Sullivan will be making his third appearance against North Carolina on Sunday, and he’s certainly a name Roy Williams won’t forget. In 2013, Sullivan scorched the Tar Heels for 33 points in an overtime scare at the Dean Dome. UNC would hang on for a 97-85 victory, but Sullivan’s effort against UNC was one to remember. In the 2014 match-up in Charlotte, Sullivan didn’t fare as well, shooting just 2-of-10 from the field (including 0-of-8 from 3-point range) in a four point performance. This year, he’s averaging 17.8 points per game, and has scored 23 points in back-to-back games.  

Efficient Offense: Davidson ranks 18th in the country in offensive efficiency, according to Four of the Wildcats’ five starters are averaging double figures in scoring. Davidson averages 112.4 points per 100 possessions.  

Defensive Deficiencies: While the Wildcats are stellar offensively, the defense needs some shoring up. Davidson is ranked 174th in defensive efficiency according to, allowing 102.3 points per 100 possessions. This is especially a concern when considering the strength of Davidson’s schedule thus far; no team the Wildcats have played is ranked above 149th in offensive efficiency.

Last Meeting: The Tar Heels defeated the Wildcats, 90-72, at the Time Warner Cable Arena in Charlotte, N.C. on Nov. 22, 2014. Kennedy Meeks led UNC with 19 points and 12 rebounds, while Justin Jackson added 18 points on 7-of-10 shooting.

Series History: UNC leads the all-time series, 63-11.

Projected Starters:
03 Brian Sullivan (6-0, 185, Sr.) – 17.8 ppg, 3.8 rpg
05 Jordan Barham (6-5, 220, Sr.) - 12.6 ppg, 4.8 rpg
12 Jack Gibbs (6-0, 195, Jr.) - 26.0 ppg, 3.0 rpg
23 Peyton Aldridge (6-7, 205, So.) - 18.0 ppg, 5.6 rpg
25 Jake Belford (6-9, 220, Jr.) - 6.8 ppg, 7.5 rpg

Top Reserves:
15 Oskar Michelsen (6-9, 210, So.) - 6.8 ppg, 1.8 rpg
01 Nathan Ekwu (6-7, 235, So.) - 2.5 ppg, 4.5 rpg

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