Busting Brackets

UNC Basketball: 3 keys to beating Oklahoma in the Jumpman Invitational

Jimmy V Classic - Connecticut v North Carolina
Jimmy V Classic - Connecticut v North Carolina / Rich Schultz/GettyImages
3 of 4

2) Break down Oklahoma's elite defense

It is not easy to score on this Oklahoma team, especially from the perimeter. Porter Moser's best Loyola Chicago teams had elite three-point defense, but even without the prayers of Sister Jean, he's taken that outside stinginess to a new level this year.

Opponents are barely making more than 25% of their threes against the Sooners, but it's not like you can beat them from inside, either. Teams shoot just over 44% from inside the arc against Oklahoma, which is a top-30 mark in the country. They're better than average at playing without fouling, and they're in the top 20% of the country in forcing turnovers and preventing offensive rebounds.

Carolina has an elite offense, so something's gotta give. The Sooners are fantastic at preventing assists, but Carolina has two players that can get buckets on their own. R.J. Davis is unstoppable right now, averaging more than 27 points in his last five games, and despite playing huge minutes, he gets better as the game goes on.

Davis can't do it alone, though, and Harrison Ingram has the game to help him break down the Sooners' defense. Ingram plays like a point forward. He can run the break and find the open man, but he can also back his man down and cut to the basket without the ball. The Stanford transfer was uncharacteristically quiet against Kentucky, but he had 20 points and five assists against UConn, another team with an elite defense.

The Sooners haven't played a true road game yet, meaning they haven't faced a truly hostile environment. This game is in Charlotte, and the crowd will be heavily pro-UNC, so although it's not quite the same as being in the Dean Dome, it's the next best thing for the Tar Heels. Look for Hubert Davis to take advantage by bringing back the full court press that's been so effective this year, leading to some easy baskets in transition.