The No. 1 North Carolina Tar Heels will try to improve to 4-0 in a battle of the unbeatens Saturday against the visiting James Madison Dukes, who have won their four games.
Caleb Love needs 12 points to become the 80th North Carolina player to reach 1,000 career points. The Tar Heels have 10 more 1,000-point scores than any other team.
Love is scoring at will inside the arc, where he is shooting 68%. The junior has increased his scoring output by better than five points per game, just as he did from his freshman to his sophomore campaign for the Tar Heels.
The Dukes are in for a big wake-up call after beating up on inferior competition for four games, winning them by an average margin of 48.5 points.
The top four leading scorers for head coach Mark Byington are all guards, led by senior Vado Morse (15.8 points per game) and Takal Molson and Terrence Edwards (13.5).
The Dukes have hit 54.1% from 3-point land and outrebounded the competition by an average of 18.3 rebounds, but that was against four teams with a combined 5-11 record.
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Nance Has Double Figures for First Time as Tar Heel
Pete Nance took a back seat in the scoring department in the first two games before exploding for 18 points in the Tar Heels’ most recent win over Gardner-Webb.
The senior, who is the only transfer in the starting lineup, having come over from Northwestern, where he scored 1,025 points in four seasons, looks like he will be a solid rim protector for the Tar Heels as he already has seven blocks in the three games.
Nance had 16 points in the first half, but attempted just two shots in the second half, a fact that left head coach Hubert Davis displeased.
“It was definitely good to see the work pay off and see some shots go in,” Nance told the media. “Getting everybody on the same page and getting the jitters out.”
Dukes Could Have Trouble Inside
The Dukes won’t be able to get away with a four-guard lineup against North Carolina, not with the 6-11 Nance and 6-11 Armando Bacot playing inside.
The tallest players for Byington, who is in his third season, are both freshmen, which likely means a combination of Mezie Offurum, Alonzo Sule, Julien Wooden and Justin Amadi, who are all in the range of 6-7 or 6-8, getting plenty of minutes.
Offurum leads those four players in scoring (9.5 points) and rebounding (5.3 rebounds), but probably won’t shoot 80% against the paint presence of North Carolina.
The Dukes, who have moved to the Sun Belt Conference for this season, played a similar schedule early last season, starting 9-2 before struggling to a 15-14 record.
James Madison vs North Carolina Head-to-Head
The Tar Heels are 3-0 all-time against the Dukes, but this will be the first meeting since a 80-79 victory for North Carolina at the Maui Invitational in 1989.
North Carolina is 191-31 as the No. 1 ranked team, including 3-0 under Davis.
James Madison vs North Carolina Game Information
- Game: James Madison (4-0) vs North Carolina (3-0)
- Location: Dean E. Smith Center, Chapel Hill, NC
- Day/Time: Sunday, November 20, 12:00 p.m. ET
- James Madison vs North Carolina Live Stream: TBS.com
James Madison vs North Carolina Picks & Prediction
The Tar Heels are favored by xx points on the NCAAB lines. North Carolina is 0-3 against the spread this season while James Madison is 3-0 against the number.