The No. 8 North Carolina Tar Heels (4-0) will tackle the No. 18 Oregon Ducks (4-0) Thursday within the Phil Knight Invitationalplacing their undefeated information on the road in a nationally-televised, non-conference assembly. The sport will likely be broadcast on ESPN, with tip-off scheduled for five pm ET.
Neither the Tar Heels nor the Geese have encountered a lot resistance to this point within the 2022-23 NCAA season. If their respective spots within the Associated Press Top 25 aren’t indication sufficient, North Carolina and Oregon have each outscored their opponents by over 45 factors per 100 possessions (Her Hoop Stats), with Oregon’s offense (120.6 offensive ranking) and North Carolina’s protection (64.2 defensive ranking) rating among the many greatest in Division I.
It is protected to say, then, that Thanksgiving’s matchup would be the first time this season both North Carolina or Oregon has actually been examined. Geese head coach Kelly Graves said forward of the sport that his staff is “going to have to play a lot better” than it did in its most up-to-date recreation in opposition to Southern Utah (a 66-54 Geese win) with a view to beat the Tar Heels; Oregon acquired a mixed 41 factors from guards Te-Hina Paopao and Likelihood Grey and ahead Grace VanSlooten, however was outrebounded 41-33, which Graves pointed to as a possible space of enchancment.
North Carolina, in the meantime, has been glorious on the glass, ranking No. 28 within the nation in each offensive (41.3 %) and defensive (77.8 %) rebounding fee. Three of their forwards — Anya Poole, Alyssa Ustby and Future Adams — are averaging a minimum of six rebounds per recreation, they usually’ve been Environment friendly with their scoring, too, every participant taking pictures 66 % or higher from the sector.
Whereas the Tar Heels will probably have the benefit within the frontcourt primarily based on measurement alone, they will additional assist their very own trigger by turning Oregon over. It will likely be simpler mentioned than carried out; North Carolina has held opponents to an eye-popping help/turnover ratio of 0.36, however the Geese have been glorious at caring for the basketball, rating No. 3 in Division I in help/turnover ratio (1.81) and No. 2 in opponents steal fee (3.9 %).
Will the Geese’ proficient offense hold buzzing alongside, or will the Tar Heels’ bodily benefits within the frontcourt carry them to victory? The winner will transfer on within the invitational to face the winner of Michigan State vs. No. 5 Iowa Statewhich is able to tip-off on Thursday at 7:30 pm ET.