Following a close 79-77 win at Clemson, the North Carolina men's basketball team will return to the Dean E. Smith Center, where it was undefeated this season before its blowout loss to Duke.
The Tar Heels will face off against a struggling Florida State team that is on a five-game losing streak.
However, a home matchup against a struggling ACC opponent still doesn't guarantee a win for North Carolina. Here are several things the team must focus on to be successful on Saturday.
Scoring against a feisty Florida State defense
Despite the current dry spell, Florida State’s defense has allowed the team to maintain a winning record so far this season.
The Seminoles are 13-10 and ranked ninth of the 15 ACC teams. Their defense has gotten the team out of some dangerously close games and is holding opponents to only 69.2 points per game.
Florida State needs its strong defense, as the team only scores an average of 71.2 points per game, which ranks 180th in the nation. In its most recent loss, the team scored only 51 points against Pittsburgh.
UNC’s offense will have to show out on Saturday to offset a hungry Seminole defense. Averaging 78.1 points per game, the Tar Heels have a better offense, but to stay ahead, they will need to have a high-scoring game like the recent 100-80 win against N.C. State and 90-83 overtime win against Louisville.
Top Tar Heel offensive players will be essential. North Carolina’s top scorers, forwards Armando Bacot and Brady Manek and guards Caleb Love and RJ Davis, will have to execute to put pressure on their opponents.