The North Carolina Tar Heels are looking to move on from a 2022-23 that saw them miss the NCAA Tournament and look to get off to a 2-0 start as they host the Lehigh Mountain Hawks on Sunday.
Lehigh Mountain Hawks vs. North Carolina Tar Heels (-24, 154.5)
Lehigh is off to an 0-2 start, but both losses were by single-digits, including a road 74-65 loss on the road to Penn State most recently.
The crux of Lehigh’s two losses this season has been averaging 14.5 turnovers per game, but get the face a North Carolina unit that was 342nd in turnovers forced on a per possession basis.
The return of Armando Bacot, who each of the past two seasons averaged a double-double, gives North Carolina the best forward in this game, but there’s mystery as to what the rest of the team will provide.
RJ Davis is the only other returning player from a season ago that averaged at least six minutes per game and most of the transfers North Carolina brought in were a part of systems that play at a significantly slower tempo than the Tar Heels have since Hubert Davis took over as head coach prior to the 2021-22 season.
While North Carolina has a lot of new pieces, Lehigh brings back three of their top four scorers from a season ago that was 42nd in the country in 3-point shooting percentage away from home last season.
Through two games, Lehigh is shooting just 23.8% from 3-point range, which should go northward against a North Carolina team that was 192nd in opponent 3-point shooting percentage at home last season.
With North Carolina dealing with a lot of players trying to learn a new system coupled with having to go against an experienced Lehigh team, Sunday’s matchup will provide the Tar Heels with a bigger challenge than expected.
The Play: Lehigh +24