Previewing Miami

The Tar Heels are coming off their first loss of the season as they head to Miami. Tip-off Wednesday is set for 9 p.m. and will be televised by Raycom.

North Carolina (18-1, 3-1) vs. Miami (14-3, 1-2)
Coral Gables, Fla. - BankUnited Center
9 p.m., Raycom (Tim Brando, Dan Bonner)


"I've been doing this too long to go crazy and jump off the top of a building after one game, but we do have to play better and the kids understand that. We're playing Wednesday night, and we could go down there and play well at Miami and still lose, because they're a good basketball team and it's a road game in the ACC." -- UNC head coach Roy Williams


Season to Date: Miami enters Wednesday night's contest with a 14-3 (1-2 ACC) record. The Hurricanes' twelve straight wins to open the season marked the best start under their fourth-year head coach, and the second-best start in school history. But Miami has dropped three of its last five games, including a 76-66 defeat at Boston College and Saturday's devastating 79-77 overtime loss at N.C. State.

Getting Defensive: The Hurricanes' early season success is directly attributed to their increased efficiency on the defensive end of the court. Miami is second only to Maryland in the ACC in both field goal percent defense (.387) and scoring defense (62.8), while ranking third in defensive rebounds (13.6), fourth in blocked shots (5.47) and fifth in three-point field goal percent defense (328). It's quite an improvement from last season, when Miami finished second-to-last in three of those statistical categories and last in the other two. Fifth-year center Anthony King (8.5 points, 7.8 rebounds and 1.5 blocks per game) has played a pivotal role in that turnaround. The Durham, N.C. native ranks third in Miami program history with 191 career blocks.

Threat From 3-Point Land: You would be hard-pressed to find a player's jersey number that fits more appropriately than Jack McClinton's No. 33. The junior guard is averaging 16.4 points and 2.9 assists per contest, while leading the ACC in 3-point field goal percentage (.466) and 3-point field goals made (2.73 per game). His shooting touch continues at the free throw line, where the Baltimore, Md. native is connecting on 90.7 percent of his charity stripe attempts, including knocking down all 16 shots in ACC play. McClinton stepped up for the Hurricanes in their last outing, scoring 24 points in the second half and overtime in Saturday's loss at N.C. State.

Spreading the Wealth: Miami is tied with Duke for the most players to record a double-figure scoring game this season. Ten different Hurricanes have scored 10-plus points in a game, led by McClinton's 12 times and sophomore guard James Dews' (11.5 ppg) 11 times. Haith's squad has had five players score in double figures in the same game five times this season, while six Hurricanes have scored 10-plus points twice.

Last Meeting: North Carolina defeated Miami, 105-64, on Jan. 31, 2007, at the Smith Center in Chapel Hill. Tyler Hansbrough led UNC with 22 points and 13 rebounds, while the Tar Heels shot 56.2 percent for the game, including a blistering 61.1 percent clip in the final 20 minutes as 12 different UNC players scored in the contest. The Hurricanes were held to under 40 percent shooting from the floor in both halves.

Series History: North Carolina leads the series with the Hurricanes, 10-2, including a 3-1 edge on the road, a 6-1 advantage in Chapel Hill and a 1-0 mark at neutral sites.

Projected Starters:
 1 Lance Hurdle (6-2, 180, Jr.) – 6.5 ppg, 2.2 apg
33 Jack McClinton (6-1, 185, Jr.) - 16.4 ppg, 2.9 apg
23 James Dews (6-3, 203, So.) – 11.5 ppg
42 Raymond Hicks (6-7, 238, Sr.) - 5.8 ppg, 4.0 rpg
50 Anthony King (6-9, 246, Sr.) – 8.5 ppg, 7.8 rpg

Key Reserves:
32 Brian Asbury (6-7, 215, Jr.) – 9.5 ppg, 4.9 reb
21 Dwayne Collins (6-8, 232, So.) – 9.1 ppg, 6.4 rpg
00 Jimmy Graham (6-8, 245, Jr.) – 5.9 ppg, 4.7 rpg
 5 Eddie Rios (6-0, 193, Fr.) – 3.6 ppg, 2.4 apg

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