GameNight: #1 North Carolina vs Kentucky

November 18th, 2008
Nov 18 2008 - 9:00pm

Preview & Prediction: By Fairway Jay

 

#1 North Carolina vs Kentucky

 

Another high-profile match-up on ESPN’s round-the-clock college basketball coverage tonight.  North Carolina (1-0) is the unanimous preseason #1 team, but they’ll play tonight’s contest without All-American Tyler Hansbrough and senior shut-down guard Marcus Ginyard. 

 

North Carolina is a big home favorite of course, and the Tar Heels love to run and many points are anticipated in this match-up.  Kentucky (0-1) did find themselves in a track meet last time out in a shocking home loss to Virginia Military Institute (VMI) 111-103.  The Wildcats have a young backcourt and committed 25 turnovers.  In a few early contests, Kentucky has really lacked consistency in running their primary half-court offense.  Kentucky coach Billy Gillispie is certain his team will improve and be ‘dramatically’ better tonight even facing the nations top-ranked team.   

 

Kentucky’s half-court man defense was actually solid in their initial preseason game, but the pace and style was much different against VMI.  Gillispie’s team usually plays a very aggressive man defense denying 1 pass away, and if they can keep more control of the tempo tonight, perhaps they can slow North Carolina a bit and stay competitive with big efforts and rebounding from Patrick Patterson and Perry Stevenson. 

 

Winner: UNC