Chapel Hill, N.C. - Dean E. Smith Center
7 p.m., TV - ESPN
"They play a three-guard lineup, so it'll be a bit of a matchup problem for us to have Reyshawn [Terry] running around screens to guard a guy that's 6-2. But at the same time we hope that's a matchup problem for them. I imagine we'll see more zone, so we've worked on it." -- Roy Williams
"I do think their basketball team will be very hungry, which will be the second time in the last two weeks a team we're getting ready to play has had a full week off. I always worry about that; I know Frank [Haith] does a great job with his club." -- Roy Williams
"In my mind, North Carolina may be the best team in the country ... They can overwhelm you with their speed and how fast they get the ball on you. You have to have the ability to get back and set your defense very quickly. That's the one thing we have to understand. And we can't turn the ball over. If we turn the ball over, it's the ‘kiss of death,' as far as how fast they put the ball on you. Even when you score, you've got to be in a dead sprint to get back in transition defense." -- Frank Haith
Season to Date: Miami wasn't expected to be among the top half of the ACC this year, but any chance of proving the preseason pollsters wrong seemed to evaporate after a string of injuries. Miami has three wins worth noting - Georgia Tech, at UMass, and at Maryland - though none of those opponents may end up being NCAA Tournament teams. The 'Canes enter Wednesday's game having lost four in a row, and eight of their last 10.
Miss You: Miami was a low scoring team last season and leaned heavily on Guillermo Diaz and Robert Hite for its offense. They were the only double-digit scorers on the team and combined for 33.6 of the team's 67.9 points per game. Without them, the Miami offense has been woeful at times this season. Frank Haith's team is ranked 2nd to last in the ACC in scoring offense (71.7 ppg) and last in field goal percentage (44.4%).
Jack Attack: Siena transfer Jack McClinton has tried to be the replacement for Diaz and Hite. The 6-1 shooting guard is the Canes' top perimeter scoring weapon, as he leads the team in scoring (16.0 ppg) and leads the entire conference in three-point shooting (43.8%) and free throw shooting (91.3%).
Injuries: The injuries this season have been staggering for Miami. Senior center Anthony King, an all-ACC candidate who was on pace to break Miami's career blocks record, is out for the year with a wrist injury. And the Canes' frontcourt depth was further decimated by three more injuries: 6-8 Jimmy Graham (hand), 6-11 Fabio Nass (knee) and 6-7 Adrian Thomas (abdomen). As a result, a team that had hoped to rely on its deep pool of post players is now limited to a 6-8 freshman starting at center (Dwayne Collins), a 6-7 small forward starting at the four spot (Brian Asbury) and a 6-7 power forward coming off the bench (Raymond Hicks).
New Faces: With the key departures from last season and the injuries suffered along the frontline, new faces have had to step into the spotlight. Brian Asbury averaged a mere 1.0 points per game last season, and has leaped to 12.2 points this season. Freshman Dwayne Collins took home Co-ACC Rookie of the Week honors for averaging 18.0 points and 8.5 rebounds in road games at Boston College and Florida State last week.
Series History: North Carolina leads the all-time series against Miami, 9-2. The two teams split last season's matchups, with Miami winning in Chapel Hill and UNC taking the rematch in Coral Gables. On Jan. 14, Hite and Diaz combined for 48 points and the Heels committed 17 turnovers in an 81-70 'Canes win. On Feb. 12, Carolina shot 55-percent from the field and got 25 points from Tyler Hansbrough for an 80-70 victory.
12 Anthony Harris (6-3, 190, Sr.) – 9.7 ppg, 3.7 apg 15 Denis Clemente (6-0, 178, So.) - 8.4 ppg, 3.3 apg 33 Jack McClinton (6-1, 185, So.) – 16.0 ppg, 2.2 apg 32 Brian Asbury (6-7, 214, So.) – 12.2 ppg, 5.8 rpg 21 Dwayne Collins (6-8, 232, Fr.) – 8.5 ppg, 5.8 rpg Key Reserves: 42 Raymond Hicks (6-7, 238, Jr.) – 4.5 ppg, 2.4 rpg 44 Keaton Copeland (6-5, 245, Sr.) – 2.7 ppg, 1.9 23 James Dews (6-3, 198, Fr.) – 2.5 ppg
McClinton ....... Asbury
Harris ....... Collins
Clemente ....... Hicks
(Photos courtesy AP/Getty)