After pulling off the unthinkable against Duke, the No. 25 UNC men's basketball team might have finally found the blueprint it needs to survive March.
Saturday’s instant classic has several lessons the team could use in preparation for the postseason. Here’s what needs to happen for No. 3 seed North Carolina to win the ACC Tournament in Brooklyn.
High post action with RJ Davis
Whether it was a pinpoint pass or contested layup, sophomore guard RJ Davis showed all the signs of being the poised floor general UNC has lacked in recent years.
Most of those scoring opportunities stemmed from high post action. UNC’s bigs, graduate forward Brady Manek and junior forward Armando Bacot, often set double screens for both Davis and each other, depending on Duke’s coverage.
It was the most effective method head coach Hubert Davis used against Duke to maximize the trio’s skill sets.
RJ Davis, though undersized, can blow by bigger defenders if they hedge the screen.
Manek, who leads the team in 3-pointers, can’t be given any space to shoot. And Bacot, UNC’s leading scorer, proved he can post up on elite defenders like Duke's Mark Williams, who was recently named ACC Defensive Player of the Year — Bacot just needs room to operate.
The triad scored 14 of UNC’s 19 second-half field goals against Duke, shooting an efficient 66.7 percent together. If RJ Davis, Manek and Bacot play with the same synergy as they did on Coach K Court, their combined arsenal will give any defense trouble.