I guess the word "preview" in the post title is misleading. I'm not really previewing the Yellow Jackets because that would require some sort of consistency from the regular season with which to base a preview upon. I'm more so presenting the futility that is UNC in Atlanta. There are only two ACC coaches with losing records against Paul Hewitt: Sidney Lowe and The Roy Williams. Williams is 1-3 in Atlanta against Hewitt with an overall record of 6-7 against the Jackets.
UNC comes into Atlanta averaging 78.6 points on the season but only 69.6 points in 2010-2011 road games. In Roy Williams' thirteen previous efforts against the Jackets, his teams averaged 79.3 points and gave up only 75.8 points. Herein lies the flaw in Williams' Jacket defense. Tech's conference offense has only averaged 72.8 points/game since the 2003-2004 season so we've netted around four extra points per game against the Heels. Hewitt has found a conference opponent in which his head-scratching offense can thrive. Also note that the Jackets win close ones against the Heels while the Heels blow out Hewitt's group. The average margin of victory in a Tech win is 6 points while the average Heel margin of victory is 15.
I'd like to point out another odd factoid about the series as well. Tech has scored 1504 points against Roy Williams' coached UNC squads. Only 554 points were scored by guards. That means over 63% of the points in previous UNC games were scored by forwards and centers. You'll occasionally get the 30 point Marvin Lewis game or 35 point Will Bynum
game or more recently a 30 point effort from Iman Shumpert
. Typically, Tech is led offensively by big men against UNC.
This brings up another key point: Iman Shumpert. Iman has had two zero point games, a nine point game, and a 30 point game against UNC. That's a pretty high standard deviation. He's averaged a 1.6:1 assist to turnover ratio, which ain't great but is about average for him
The key to victory is simple. Slow down the Heels scoring. Tech has never scored more than 88 points against the Heels under Hewitt and has averaged 75 points per UNC game since 2001. If Tech can keep the Heels from scoring more than 75, Tech has a shot. We've accomplished this feat 8 times in the last 20 tries and won 6 of those 8. When the Heels break 75, they are 8-4 against Hewitt.