3 Biggest Questions for UNC Men's Basketball Team vs. Michigan State

These are the three biggest questions for UNC heading into a second-round showdown with Michigan State in the NCAA Tournament.
RJ Davis had 22 points in UNC's first-round win over Wagner
RJ Davis had 22 points in UNC's first-round win over Wagner / Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports
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The North Carolina men's basketball team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament and will face Michigan State on Saturday, March 23 at 5:30 PM ET.

UNC dominated Wagner in a masterful 90-62 victory that made the Tar Heels look like true title contenders, though the Spartans were impressive in their own right by beating Mississippi State 69-51.

While the Tar Heels are the better team, Michigan State could pose significant matchup problems due to their experience and stellar defense. With a trip to the Sweet 16 on the line, let's look at three major questions for UNC heading into the matchup.

3 Biggest Questions for UNC vs. Michigan State

1. Can the Tar Heels Stay Hot Offensively?

UNC was scorching-hot against Wagner, making 55% of their shots from the field and 50% from beyond the arc. Considering the Tar Heels rank 126th in effective field goal percentage (51.6%), this is a massive step in the right direction.

They'll need that kind of shooting prowess against a Spartans defense that's sixth in KenPom's defensive efficiency metric, a big improvement from Wagner's 178th ranking. Michigan State held Mississippi State to 37% from the field and it's hard to imagine a UNC victory if the Spartans have a similarly-effective effort.

Given the snail's pace that Michigan State prefers to play at, getting points on as many possessions as possible is vital.

Armando Bacot and Cormac Ryan were also impressive offensively with a strong contribution coming from Jae'lyn Withers off the bench. This is a much more difficult matchup, but the scoring prowess UNC showed can take them a long way in this tournament.

If the Tar Heels struggle offensively, it plays right into the Spartans' hands. I expect a healthy dose of RJ Davis early and fingers crossed he's brought his A-game.

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