What If Tourney: 5/12 matchup
It's the fifth-seeded 1995-96 Tar Heels against 12th-seeded 2009-10 in today's first-round game of the What If Tar Heel Tournament. The 1995-96 team welcomes freshmen Vince Carter and Antawn Jamison to campus, as they join juniors Jerry Stackhouse, Rasheed Wallace (who here did not go third and fourth in the 1995 NBA Draft) and Jeff McInnis. Similar to yesterday's play-in game, this contest features a team that in reality did not make the NCAA Tournament. But this is the What If Tournament, and the 2009-10 team returns three starters from a national championship team (even if Deon Thompson is a reserve in What If-land).
Here's David Culp's breakdown of these two teams:
1995-96 What If Tar Heels
Coach: Dean Smith
Weaknesses: PG/front line depth
Will win the tournament if: runs team out of gym; McInnis stays out of foul trouble
Will lose in the first round if: either McInnis or Jamison gets in foul trouble
This team in one word: Fun.
2009-10 What If Tar Heels
Coach: Roy Williams
Strengths: Experienced backcourt, frontline depth (Davis, Wright, Deon, Henson, Zeller), defense
Weaknesses: Chemistry (how to divvy up minutes)
Will win the tournament if: Lawson and Ellington control games, Davis develops offense to offset Wright
Will lose in first round if: Lack of post play allows opponents to key on backcourt
One word: Defense