3 Big Observations from UNC's Narrow Win Over Miami

RJ Davis scored a Dean Smith Center-record 42 points in Monday's win over Miami
RJ Davis scored a Dean Smith Center-record 42 points in Monday's win over Miami / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
3 of 3

3. The Perimeter Defense Must Improve

The Hurricanes are an excellent three-point shooting team, making 37.1% on the season for the 26th-best best in the country. Even still, they were playing without Wooga Poplar and Nigel Pack, two of their top four scorers who both shoot above 36% from beyond the arc.

Instead of taking advantage of a depleted offense, North Carolina let Norchad Omier, Kyshawn George and Bensley Joseph combine to shoot 13-24. The Tar Heels have the 15th-best three-point defense (29.8%) and their larger body of work indicates this might have just been an unlucky night.

Unlucky nights happen in the NCAA Tournament though. If North Carolina reaches the heights the team is capable of, they'll need more consistent effort. They did force 14 turnovers, but you can't count on RJ Davis delivering a 42-point masterpiece every time they're in trouble.

Tar Heels outside of Davis went just two-of-15 from three-point range. North Carolina was lucky to get the win, yet it's the kind of victory that championship-caliber teams bring home. From a simple math perspective, it's difficult to consistently win at this time of year if the other team makes three's at a significantly more efficient clip than you do.

North Carolina can learn from this and still controls its destiny to win the ACC. If Davis' supporting cast bounces back and the perimeter defense tightens up with some stronger late-game execution, the Tar Heels have everything they want in front of them.