Busting Brackets

3 keys for UNC Basketball to beat Kentucky in 2023 CBS Sports Classic

RJ Davis, UNC Basketball
RJ Davis, UNC Basketball / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
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Take advantage of the edge in experience

Kentucky is a deep team, but they have four freshmen with prominent roles. When those rookies have the ability of Reed Sheppard, D.J. Wagner, Rob Dillingham, and Aaron Bradshaw, that's not a bad thing, but it can lead to a lack of consistency.

Kentucky's inexperience showed two weeks ago in a home loss to UNC Wilmington, and it will likely rear its head again before the season is done. North Carolina is the perfect team to exploit that, as the Tar Heels have experience all over the court.

RJ Davis is a senior. Armando Bacot and Cormac Ryan are each in their fifth years. Harrison Ingram is a junior. These guys have been through the gauntlet of college basketball. Elliot Cadeau is the lone freshman getting big minutes for Carolina, but his unselfish game has only made his older teammates better.

Kentucky does have two upperclassmen that have been a steadying presence. Senior Antonio Reeves leads the team in scoring with 18 points per game, and West Virginia transfer Tre Mitchell has stuffed the stat sheet in much the same way that Ingram has for UNC.

If you like points, you'll love this game. Both teams are highly efficient, and they each love to play at a breakneck pace. Carolina will try to get to the line and get second chance points, while Kentucky will bomb it from outside and limit turnovers. Could we see a shootout similar to the 103-100 Kentucky win from 2016?

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Any time two of the best programs in college basketball history get together, it's a big deal, especially when they're both this good. The Tar Heels and Wildcats each look capable of making a deep run in March, and the crowd in Atlanta is certain to be electric. Don't miss this one.