ACC Basketball: Saturday Preview

There are only two games around the ACC on Saturday, with perhaps the game of the day in all of college basketball taking place in Austin, Texas this afternoon with the #3 North Carolina Tar Heels facing off against Shaka Smart’s Texas Longhorns. Let’s get to it.

Eastern Michigan (6-3) Vs. #22 Louisville (6-1), 2:00 PM ET on

Game Notes

  • At 79.8 points per game, Eastern Michigan enters the game as one of the best scoring teams in the MAC. However, they have not yet played a defense of Louisville’s caliber. The closest match-up to it may have been against #3 Michigan State, a game that the Eagles lost 89-65 on November 23rd.
  • Louisville has played primarily in man-to-man defense so far this season, and has done a very good job disrupting the rhythm of their opponents. They are currently second in the nation in points allowed per game, as they have only given up an average off 55.7 points per contest.


Eastern Michigan can score as well as any team in the mid-major conferences. The issue that the Eagles will face in this game however, is the massive talent gap in athleticism between themselves and Rick Pitino’s Louisville Cardinals. I expect the defense to come up big for Louisville, turning into easy offense for Damion Lee and the Cardinals offense.

Louisville 85   Eastern Michigan 61


#3 North Carolina (7-1) Vs. Texas (5-3), 5:15 PM ET on ESPN

Game Notes

  • Shaka Smart has begun to instill his “Havoc” pressure defense that he made famous at VCU in his first season at Texas, but the play of the Longhorns is still a work-in-progress as they sit at a mediocre 5-3 this season. They have not done anything spectacularly well so far, but are entering the match-up with the Tar Heels on a three game win streak, with their latest victory coming in a 66-point blowout over Texas-San Antonio.
  • North Carolina has averaged 93.5 points per game in the last two games since Marcus Paige’s return to the lineup. The senior guard is averaging 16.5 points and 4.5 assists per game in his two games this season.


This is undoubtedly one of the biggest college games on the basketball landscape for Saturday, but in all honesty, I’m not sure that this game will be that close. North Carolina is a team that can easily handle the pressure defense that Texas will place in front of them in Austin, and veteran guard play with Marcus Paige is a major reason why. He has been a catalyst since his return from injury, and the Tar Heels have looked every bit like one of the nation’s top teams with him in the lineup. Even at home, I don’t think that Texas is playing well enough as a team quite yet to stand up to this very tall task. I like the Tar Heels in this one, and they should win big.

North Carolina 74    Texas 56


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