UNC vs. Villanova: A Final Four, Four Factor Preview | Sports
Sports
INDY Week's sports blog

Archives | RSS | Follow on | Add on  

Saturday, April 4, 2009

UNC vs. Villanova: A Final Four, Four Factor Preview

Posted by on Sat, Apr 4, 2009 at 1:39 AM

click to enlarge unknown.jpg

A week of anticipation has been building up to Saturday's Final Four match-up between the North Carolina Tar Heels and the Villanova Wildcats. The contest has be analyzed from all angles, as is often the case when there are only only three college basketball games remaining in the season.

In the last five days there have been stories written about Tyler Hansbrough's last hurrah, Villanova's height issues, Danny Green's father and Scottie Reynolds' decision making. However, the statistics and the four factors tell their own story.

The known commodity going into the game is UNC's offense.

The Tar Heels pack a potent punch when they have the ball, often able to score efficiently from all four or five positions. In fact no opponent has held the Heels below one point per possession in any game this year. The closest anyone has come in the tournament is Oklahoma, who held the Heels to a healthy 1.11 points per possession. UNC's offense relies on solid shot selection, limiting turnovers and getting offensive rebounds to score points.

Unfortunately for Villanova they're only prepared to stop one of UNC's three strengths, offensive rebounding. When considering their height, 170th nationally, the Wildcats have been nothing short of ferocious on the defensive glass this year ranking 50th. Those numbers have improved in the tournament where the Wildcats have been reeling in over 77 percent of their opponents' misses.

The other two strengths of UNC's offense, lack of turnovers and shooting, aren't places Villanova can expect to make up much ground. The Tar Heel big men can expect less defensive interference from the small Wildcat front line than they encountered in the past two rounds against Gonzaga and Oklahoma. The Wildcats are also foul prone, and though that isn't a relative strength of Heels' offense their free throw shooting ranks tenth in the country at over 75 percent.

The unknown commodities will be played out on Villanova's end of the court. The Wildcats have multiple capable ball handlers and an offense that is driven by driving to the basket and drawing fouls. As any Tar Heel fan can tell you, one of UNC's few achilles heels this season has been an inability to stop penetration by quick guards (see: Teague, Jeff and Rice, Tyrese).

The North Carolina defense has been outstanding this tournament. Clinics on double teaming and defensive rotation could be taught with the Oklahoma game film. The Heels have faced two of the nations top five offenses by efficiency already in Gonzaga and Oklahoma, and they held both under one point per possession. North Carolina seems to be playing with a renewed intensity on the defensive end of the floor. Is this new UNC defense a product of beneficial match-ups and luck or is it the real thing? Playing Villanova, with offensive stylings that have given the Tar Heels fits this year, should provide the answer.

A balanced offense will be the key for the Tar Heels. In the South Regionals Ty Lawson, Wayne Ellington, and Danny Green shot the Heels through to the Final Four. In two games in Memphis the trio scored 57 percent of the team's points, shot 45 percent from behind the arc, and only turned the ball over 10 times. Villanova's guards match up much better defensively with the UNC backcourt than Oklahoma and Gonzaga's guards did. If the Tar Heels are going to better last season's results, the front line will bear the offensive load for the night. Look for the Tar Heels to win again by playing better offense than the opponent and just enough defense to get by.

Prediction: UNC 83, Villanova 76

Tags: , , , , , ,

Pin It

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Sports



Twitter Activity

Comments

If you need to hire a real hacker to help spy on your partner's cell phone remotely, change your grades …

by Stacey Jones on Duke vs. Villanova: Four Factor Preview (Sports)

This was a great read until we got to the World Cup part (who knows or cares, this is America) …

by ProudlyUnaffiliated on A short history of the Dutch in South Africa, 1652-2010 (Sports)

Most Read

No recently-read stories.

Visit the archives…

Most Recent Comments

If you need to hire a real hacker to help spy on your partner's cell phone remotely, change your grades …

by Stacey Jones on Duke vs. Villanova: Four Factor Preview (Sports)

This was a great read until we got to the World Cup part (who knows or cares, this is America) …

by ProudlyUnaffiliated on A short history of the Dutch in South Africa, 1652-2010 (Sports)

what i gonna to do is to be my hero and be awesome, just like them, cannot change history and …

by heartnecklace on A short history of the Dutch in South Africa, 1652-2010 (Sports)

wwe is too violate, if some can fix it that will be okay.

by heartnecklace on Should North Carolina State try to suplex the WWE? (Sports)

Gaffe-r is right...he f8cks up all the time. "A lot of success over the last 3 years"....less smoke blows out …

by DonGarbageBlows on Colin Clarke returns as head coach of Carolina RailHawks (Sports)

© 2017 Indy Week • 320 E. Chapel Hill St., Suite 200, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation