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Preview and Thread: Hogs and Heels Face Off In Second Round, Again.

What could go wrong?

Arkansas v North Carolina Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

After an impressive win against Oklahoma, the Razorbacks get another chance in the second round of a tournament against North Carolina. While the stakes are significantly lower this time around, Arkansas will still want some revenge from last season’s tournament loss.

More on the Tar Heels

North Carolina has done what they’ve needed to in their first four games. Their biggest test came from the same Bucknell team that Arkansas beat handily. It’s a different team of Tar Heels this time around. Kennedy Meeks, Justin Jackson, Isaiah Hicks are gone but plenty of talent is still around for the defending champs.

Projected Starting 5

If it ain’t broke, then don’t fix it for the Hogs. The one change that eventually might happen will be when Daniel Gafford gets in the starting line up. Mike Anderson hasn’t put him and Trey Thompson together much, but it would be interesting to see how their different skill sets work with each other.

For North Carolina, four of their starters are in double figures at this early point in the season. Luke Maye and Joel Berry II are the leaders in experience and scoring. Neither two had a particularly good game (Berry went 2/13 from the field) in the NCAA Tournament game. They will likely have a much better game in this one.

3 Key Stats

As these second two stats show, North Carolina is a very fundamentally sound team. They are incredibly efficient on offense, and they rebound extremely well. Arkansas has done a good job this season of forcing teams to be inefficient and crashing the offensive rebounds. They likely won’t be as successful in those two aspects in this game as they were in previous games.

The three point percentage points to where Arkansas can take advantage. North Carolina has struggled mightily defending the three point line. Macon and Barford have been the only two reliable shooters in this very early part of the season. Arkansas will likely need a good game outside from Beard or CJ Jones in this one if they want to pull the upset.