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UNC Basketball at Georgia Tech: Game preview, prediction, info and more

Even with a scare against Florida State on Saturday afternoon, the UNC men’s basketball team kept its long winning streak intact and stayed undefeated atop the ACC.

North Carolina (17-3, 9-0) trailed by five at halftime, but nine quick points from Cormac Ryan and improved defense helped it regain the lead. National Player of the Year candidate RJ Davis gave the Tar Heels some much-needed breathing room late, knocking down a mid-range jumper and icing the game with a pair of free throws.

After returning to Chapel Hill for a short period of time, UNC will hit the road for a Tuesday night battle with Georgia Tech. This SHOULD be an easy victory for the Tar Heels, but it’s also a trap game.

If this were football, we already know what the result would be.

The Yellow Jackets (9-11, 2-7) fared well in the 2023 portion of their season, highlighted by a 72-68 upset of Duke on Saturday, Dec. 2.

Since the calendar turned over to 2024, Georgia Tech has only won one game – a road overtime upset of Clemson. The Yellow Jackets are coming off one of their worst games in the entire season, a 24-point loss against Virginia Tech in Blacksburg.

Returning to McCamish Pavillion could prove valuable for Georgia Tech, but they have to face a red hot North Carolina team.

What should we be looking at for the Tar Heels?

Key to victory for UNC

Jan 27, 2024; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; North Carolina Tarheels guard Elliot Cadeau (2) drives around Florida State Seminoles forward Baba Miller (11) during the second half at Donald L. Tucker Center. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 27, 2024; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; North Carolina Tarheels guard Elliot Cadeau (2) drives around Florida State Seminoles forward Baba Miller (11) during the second half at Donald L. Tucker Center. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Early in the first half of Saturday’s UNC-Florida State clash, the Seminoles seemingly couldn’t miss from downtown.

FSU ended the day 9-of-20 on 3-pointers, while North Carolina wasn’t far behind at 8-for 21. Seminoles leading scorer Primo Spears (15 ponts) hit three of his four attempts from downtown, while each FSU player – who made a three – was at least 40% on deep shots.

The Tar Heels had been extremely solid in defending the 3-pointer in recent weeks, but a rare slip-up on Saturday afternoon nearly cost them.

Georgia Tech isn’t great at shooting from deep at a 32.2 percent mark, but North Carolina will need to defend much better to win.

Something to watch

Jan 27, 2024; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; North Carolina Tarheels guard Elliot Cadeau (2) drives around Florida State Seminoles guard Primo Spears (23) during the second half at Donald L. Tucker Center. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports
Jan 27, 2024; Tallahassee, Florida, USA; North Carolina Tarheels guard Elliot Cadeau (2) drives around Florida State Seminoles guard Primo Spears (23) during the second half at Donald L. Tucker Center. Mandatory Credit: Melina Myers-USA TODAY Sports

Elliot Cadeau is starting to become a reliable part of the Tar Heel offense, recording a career-high 16 points on Saturday afternoon.

It was his second consecutive double-digit point outing and fifth overall this year.

What is Cadeau going to do for an encore in Atlanta on Tuesday?

What you need to know

WHAT? UNC (17-3, 9-0 ACC) at Georgia Tech (9-11, 2-7)
WHEN? Tuesday, Jan. 30 at 7 p.m. ET
WHERE? McCamish Pavillion in Atlanta, Ga.
TV? ESPN (Watch and stream the game live on WatchESPN)
RADIO? Sirius XM (Channel 193 or 371)
LINE? N/A
LAST MEETING? UNC won, 75-59, on Saturday, Dec. 10, 2022 in Chapel Hill.
ALL-TIME SERIES? UNC leads, 70-27
PREDICTION? UNC 72, Georgia Tech 62

Story originally appeared on Tarheels Wire