Scouting Kentucky-North Carolina

Keys to victory in Saturday's showdown of storied programs

Updated: December 13, 2013, 1:13 PM ET
By Seth Greenberg and Bruce Pearl

Williams/CalipariUSA TODAY SportsHow will Roy Williams and John Calipari approach the weekend's big battle?

With Saturday's highly anticipated matchup between the Kentucky Wildcats and North Carolina Tar Heels (5:15 p.m. ET, ESPN) fast approaching, we asked former coaches Seth Greenberg and Bruce Pearl to break it all down. They each provided a scouting report on the biggest keys for both sides of the ball, with Greenberg taking the role of John Calipari and Pearl the role of Roy Williams.

How Kentucky can beat North Carolina

By Seth Greenberg

Offensive keys

Be efficient with the ball: Defensively in the half court, North Carolina will play man-to-man with a few possessions of point zone. In their man, the Tar Heels hope to use their length and are active off the ball. They look to run through passing lanes. It is important to set up cuts and meet passes. When driving to the hoop, it's crucial to take the ball at their shot-blockers. On post passes, they will scrape the post off the passer.

Look to push the ball, as UNC at times this season has struggled in defensive transition, though it loves to push the ball as well after a missed shot. Remember, bad attempts will lead to good offense for the Tar Heels, so we must limit that.


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Bruce Pearl

ESPN College Basketball analyst
• Joined ESPN as a college basketball analyst in 2012
• Former head coach at Southern Indiana, Milwaukee and Tennessee