Previewing Georgia Tech

For the first time in program history, the Tar Heels are playing in the first day of the ACC Tournament. Thursday's first round matchup is with Georgia Tech and is scheduled to tip-off at the Greensboro Coliseum at 7 p.m. on ESPN2.

North Carolina (16-15, 5-11) vs. Georgia Tech (19-11, 7-9)
Greensboro, N.C. -- Greensboro Coliseum
7:00 p.m. ESPN2 (Mike Patrick, Len Elmore)


"I think if we come out and play like we know we're capable, we can beat any team in the country." – Georgia Tech forward Derrick Favors

"It's very important. Playing North Carolina in Greensboro is going to be a tremendous challenge. It's not a home-court advantage for them, but it's pretty close." – GT head coach Paul Hewitt on winning Thursday to bolster his team's NCAA Tournament hopes


Season to Date: No.7 seed Georgia Tech enters the ACC Tournament's opening round on Thursday with a 19-11 (7-9 ACC) record. The Yellow Jackets have lost six of their last nine games, including a damaging 64-62 loss at No. 12 seed Miami on Feb. 10.

Season Accolades: Forward Gani Lawal was named third-team All-ACC by ACSMA for the second year in a row on Monday. The 6-9 junior from Norcross, Ga., lead Georgia Tech in scoring and rebounding this season, averaging 13.6 points and 8.8 rebounds. Forward Derrick Favors became the 11th Yellow Jacket to pick up ACC Rookie of the Year honors after leading all conference freshmen in scoring (11.9), rebounding (8.4), field goal percentage (60.4), blocked shots (2.0) and double-doubles (8). Guard D'Andre Bell won the Bob Bradley Spirit and Courage Award after being diagnosed in October 2008 with spinal stenosis, a narrowing of the spine that can result in debilitating injury if left untreated. Bell red-shirted the '08-'09 campaign and returned to the starting lineup this season, averaging 6.4 points and 2.6 rebounds per game.

A Buzzing Threesome: While Duke's "Big Three" dominates the perimeter, Georgia Tech's version makes their noise in the paint. Lawal, Favors and senior Zack Peacock (9.1 ppg) account for 46.1 percent of the Yellow Jackets' scoring (34.6) and 52.7 percent of the team's rebounding (21.3) this season.

Balanced Percentages: Georgia Tech enters the ACC Tournament ranked third in the conference in both field goal percentage (46.1) and field goal percent defense (38.4).

Tech on the Bubble: Georgia Tech's No. 44 ranking in the RPI stands sixth in the ACC, thanks to a 7-7 record against teams ranked in the top-100 and four wins against teams in the top-50 (Duke, Clemson, Wake Forest, Siena). With a weaker-than-usual at-large pool for the NCAA Tournament Committee, the Yellow Jackets can likely sew up a bid to the Big Dance with a win or two in the ACC Tournament.

Random Fact of the Day: Georgia Tech can become the first team other than Duke to beat UNC three times in a season since the Jackets did it during the '84-'85 season.

Head-to-Head '09-'10 Results: In the first meeting between these two programs, Will Graves scored 22 of his 24 points in the second half to erase a 20-point deficit, but Georgia Tech managed to pull out a 73-71 victory over UNC on Jan. 16 in Chapel Hill. On Feb. 17, the Yellow Jackets used an early 21-4 spurt to make easy work of North Carolina, defeating the Tar Heels, 68-51, at Alexander Memorial Coliseum in Atlanta.

Series History: The Tar Heels lead the all-time series with Georgia Tech, 60-22. UNC has won 19 of its last 28 games against the Yellow Jackets. Thursday's game will be the first ACC Tournament meeting between North Carolina and Georgia Tech since the 2005 semifinals in Washington, DC.

Projected Starters:
1 Iman Shumpert (6-5, 209, So.) – 10.0 ppg, 4.0 apg
41 Glen Rice, Jr. (6-5, 195, Fr.) – 5.3 ppg, 2.9 rpg
13 D'Andre Bell (6-6, 222, Sr.) – 6.4 ppg, 2.6 rpg
31 Gani Lawal (6-9, 234, Jr.) – 13.6 ppg, 8.8 rpg
14 Derrick Favors (6-10, 246, Fr.) – 11.9 ppg, 8.4 rpg

Top Reserves:
35 Zach Peacock (6-8, 235, Sr.) – 9.2 ppg, 4.1 rpg
11 Brian Oliver (6-6, 220, Fr.) – 7.5 ppg, 2.1 rpg
00 Mfon Udofia (6-2, 187, Fr.) – 6.8 ppg, 2.2 apg
3 Moe Miller (6-2, 189, Jr.) – 3.5 ppg, 2.3 apg

GT Info
Roster & Bios

ACC Tournament Schedule

Opening Round: Thursday, March 11
#8 Boston College vs. #9 Virginia - Noon - Raycom
#5 Wake Forest vs. #12 Miami - 2 p.m. - Raycom
#7 Georgia Tech vs. #10 North Carolina - 7 p.m. - ESPN2
#6 Clemson vs. #11 NC State - 9 p.m. - Raycom

Quarterfinals: Friday, March 12
#1 Duke vs. #8/#9 Winner - Noon - Raycom/ESPN2
#4 Virginia Tech vs. #5/#12 Winner - 2 p.m. - Raycom/ESPN2
#2 Maryland vs. #7/#10 Winner - 7 p.m. - Raycom/ESPN2
#3 Florida State vs. #6/#11 Winner - 9 p.m. - Raycom/ESPN2

Semifinals: Saturday, March 13
Semifinal 1 - 1:30 p.m. - Raycom/ESPN
Semifinal 2 - 3:30 p.m. - Raycom/ESPN

Championship Game: Sunday, March 14
Championship Game - 1 p.m. - Raycom/ESPN

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