3 Burning Questions for UNC Tar Heels vs. Alabama in Sweet 16

Positive answers to these questions will likely result in a Tar Heels win
Armando Bacot has 22 rebounds through two NCAA Tournament games
Armando Bacot has 22 rebounds through two NCAA Tournament games / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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2. Can UNC Slow Down Mark Sears?

UNC boasts one of the country's best defenses, ranking 13th in opponent effective field goal percentage (46.4%). They'll need an intense, focused unit to slow down Alabama leading scorer Mark Sears (21.5 PPG) and an explosive Crimson Tide offense.

Sears has 20+ points in 19 of his last 21 games, including dropping a combined 56 through two NCAA Tournament games thus far. He's the sun around which Alabama's offense orbits, so keeping him in check should be priority No. 1 for the Tar Heels.

It's an interesting paradox for UNC. RJ Davis is likely to draw the defensive assignment, though the Tar Heels don't want their star to expend all of his energy chasing Sears around.

Alabama launches over 46% of their shots from beyond the arc (19th nationally) and can get hot in a hurry. The Crimson Tide will have a couple of runs in this game, but if UNC can withstand the punches, they'll be in great shape.

Sears had four turnovers despite his 26 points in the second round. Getting the ball out of his hands is critical to a Tar Heels victory, though they rank just 310th in defensive turnover percentage (14.8%).

When it's all said and done, the Davis vs. Sears battle will likely determine the winner.