North Carolina (ACC) vs. Davidson (SoCon)
Bobcats Arena, Charlotte NC (Neutral)
7:00 PM EST
Tonight marks the first of three remarkable opportunities for the SoCon favorite Wildcats: a trio of neutral-court shots at college basketball's elite. Later on, they'll play Duke on this same floor and meet UCLA in Anaheim, but tonight it's the Tar Heels.
This is the first game of the year for UNC, and if you want a preview for their season, you've come to the wrong place. Davidson returns intact from a 29-win season, and is is led by supersoph Stephen Curry (27 points against Emory in a tuneup game). He's coming off a 21.5 ppg freshman year in which he finished 10th in all the land in points per 40 minutes (27.8). Can he fill it? Yup.
But that's not all the Wildcats have: a talented if not undersized senior frontcourt (featuring 6-8 Boris Meno and 6-8 Thomas Sander) that may be overwhelmed on occasion -- witness the 49-31 rebound margin in the NCAA first-round loss against Maryland -- but rarely makes dumb mistakes and fouled far less than the national average last season. If they can replicate last year's recipe for success: don't turn it over and don't foul (keeping that weird Hansbrough dude in check wouldn't hurt either, injured or not), these Cats might have a shot.UNC 72, DAV 68