UConn Coach Dan Hurley Discloses “Heck of a Challenge” in Facing UNC Ahead of Much Anticipated Face-Off

Published 12/05/2023, 4:48 AM EST

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For the seventh time since 1949, the North Carolina Tar Heels (7-1) are getting ready to take on the UConn Huskies (7-1) in New York City. The Huskies are currently ranked fourth in the nation, but after their defeat to Kansas last week, their position is sure to change. Even their coach Dan Hurley seemed to be worried about his team’s performance before Tuesday’s Jimmy V Classic game at Madison Square Garden.

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The non-conference portion of the collegiate basketball season has been more interesting than in previous years. And it doesn’t seem to be slowing down anytime soon as UConn and North Carolina prepare to compete in a fast-paced, high-scoring match in the basketball mecca. On paper, it should be an incredible game, but one team should have the advantage.

Coach Dan Hurley’s tough test

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UConn plays at a slower speed than most teams, while the Tar Heels pose a severe threat with their incredible form. Except for their overtime defeat to Villanova, North Carolina has dominated the competition this season. They completely outclassed Tennessee, scoring 100 points against one of the nation’s top defenses.

 

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Then, against a lowly Florida State squad, they overcame a poor start to score 49 points in the second half and win 78-70. RJ Davis scores around 20 points a night, making him a nightmare for the opposition.

In the face of these performances, Dan Hurley has termed the upcoming match as “a heck of a challenge.”

Challenge apart, who has an edge?

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Although both teams are excellent three-point shooters, UNC is ranked 91st in the nation with 36% of shots attempted per game, while UConn is ranked 204th at 32%.

USA Today via Reuters

North Carolina has been inconsistent from the three-point line at times, but they can become very hot when they do.

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The Tar Heels should’ve hope if Harrison Ingram, Cormac Ryan, and R.J. Davis can establish themselves early on as UNC’s top three-point shooters. Clearly, the Huskies are facing difficulty guarding the strong offensive area of their next opponents.

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Written by:

Nima Murugan

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“Basketball isn’t an act of jumping jacks, it’s a sport mirroring life through assists and rebounds”. Before becoming an NBA writer at EssentiallySports, I was drawn to the world of basketball when 'The Chosen One' first started locking horns with 'His Airness' over the GOAT debate. Some discourses shape your imagination and rightly so.
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Edited by:

Bilal Handoo

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