The first game on this Sunday of March Madness takes place in Charlotte to send the second team from the East regional into the Sweet 16. Game tips off at 9:15 AM PT/12:15 PM ET (click here for the full schedule).
Let's take a look at both teams.
Ken Pomeroy says ... 42nd best offense, 8th best defense. One of the fastest paces in the league. Excellent rebounding team and good at keeping opponents off the line. Good at holding onto the ball. Strong field goal defense. Excellent at getting blocked shots and not getting their shots blocked.
The weaknesses for North Carolina are poor three point shooting and poor free throw shooting. Also the Heels are prone to getting their passes stolen while not being able to force turnovers themselves.
Ken Pomeroy says ... 10th best offense, 49th best defense. They run almost as fast as North Carolina. Excellent shooting offense, particularly inside. Not a terrible shooting defense either. Don't get their shots blocked and they block a lot of shots. Great offensive rebounding team too.
The weaknesses for Washington are poor free throw shooting, but more importantly they resort to jump shooting too much and never get to the foul line. Worse, they allow other teams to get to the free throw line as well, which keeps their opponents in games too much. Finally, they probably shoot too many threes, considering their excellent efficiency inside.
Prediction: North Carolina. Usually when great defense meets great offense, great defense wins. It's likely to be an up-tempo game, so Washington might be able to jump start themselves with some great shooting, but with UW playing an essential road game in Charlotte in Tar Heel territory, the homecourt advantage should give UNC all the advantage they need (well, unless the Dukies in the stands start getting behind Washington).