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Where UNC can exploit UCLA in the Sweet 16

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The UNC basketball program is likely to be clicking on the proper time as they’ve performed actually good down the stretch this season. Going from being a bubble workforce to spoiling Coach Okay’s finale at Duke and now wins over Marquette and Baylor.

However the Tar Heels are going to need to deliver their A-game on Friday within the Candy 16 matchup in opposition to UCLA.

The No. 4 Bruins entered this 12 months as a preseason favourite together with Gonzaga, who took down UCLA within the Ultimate 4 final season, and rightfully so. UCLA returns each starter from that workforce final 12 months and have actually discovered their groove as of late.

Carlos, host of the Pac-12 podcast, No Truck Stops offers us the rundown on the Bruins offensively:

I’m a real Pac-12 sicko in that I watch Pac-12 hoops nearly solely. Nevertheless, I guess for those who took the top-15 groups in offensive effectivity this 12 months, UCLA would have one of many ugliest, most grotesque offenses of the bunch. However it’s additionally brutally, soul-crushingly environment friendly and really hardly ever turns the ball over. When UCLA‘s offense is clicking and dominating, it doesn’t really feel fairly like an avalanche the best way it does when offenses like Arizona’s or Gonzaga’s begin to take over. It’s extra like having a small rock thrown straight at your face over and over at 30 second intervals. It’s a mid-range jumper right here, a post-up there, after which eight straight painstakingly-long possessions have passed by, and UCLA‘s just scored on every single one of them. And because they take care of the ball so damn well, it’s unimaginable to shorten their possessions except UCLA desires them shortened.

I’ve not too long ago been evaluating UCLA‘s offense to the 2016-17 Houston Rockets. If you watched them in the playoffs, they screened you to death, hunted mismatches, and then let a couple players work in isolation while everyone patiently and methodically waited around until they got the green light to do something. And guess what? That offense owned and the entire team dragged one of the most beautiful offenses we’ve ever seen into the mud for seven video games. It’s ugly, it’s brutal, however when each different elite offense is enjoying stunning, enjoyable, energetic basketball? It’s cool as hell while you’re the one workforce who desires to wreck every part.

Nevertheless, each workforce is beatable and UNC can exploit a the Bruins in some areas:

As for what North Carolina can exploit, I’ll say this: Tyger Campbell helps make this UCLA workforce go. A few of UCLA‘s worst offensive games have come when teams have honed in on him and figured out how to make Tyger seemingly disappear. Campbell isn’t UCLA‘s best scorer or even their best offensive player, but he’s their most essential offensive participant.

I’d even be remiss to depart out Jaime Jaquez, who’s in truth UCLA‘s best player and, at the moment, their best scorer. Jaquez is incredibly crafty, especially in the post, and his craftiness enables him to get buckets even against players who are much larger than he is (as was the case against USC’s 6’10” energy ahead Isaiah Mobley, the place Jaquez was giving up 4 inches and about 20 kilos). That stated, some longer gamers have had numerous success in opposition to Jaquez. One in all his worst offensive video games got here within the Pac-12 title recreation, when Arizona’s huge adjustment was to stay 7’1″ Pac-12 defensive participant of the 12 months Christian Koloko on Jaquez. The end result was a horrific 6-for-17 capturing night time to go together with three turnovers and what felt like a bazillion blocked pictures for Koloko on Jaquez. Does North Carolina have a Christian Koloko on roster? I assume we’re about to seek out out!

It’s no secret UNC goes to need to play considered one of their greatest video games of the season each on offense and protection. In the event that they do, they need to discover themselves within the Elite 8 this weekend.

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