In Sweet 16, what UNC players should concern the Alabama Crimson Tide

On Thursday night Alabama Basketball must have success against four North Carolina Tar Heels players.

James Snook-USA TODAY Sports
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The Crimson Tide's coaching advantage could be neutralized by the Tar Heels roster, especially North Carolina's four best players. Arguably the Tide's best four are not equal to the Heels' best four. Alabama has the deeper bench with 11 players getting eight or more minutes per game. For the Tar Heels, the number is nine.

Main concerns for Alabama Basketball vs. North Carolina

The main concerns for the Crimson Tide come from the play of four North Carolina players. Alabama will need its bench depth against 6'10", 240 lbs. Armando Bacot. Given foul proclivities, Alabama will need both Nick Pringle and Mo Wague to defend Bacot. Actually, 'trying' to defend Bacot might be a more accurate statement. One or both of the Tide players are likely to foul out. When Nate Oats uses Grant Nelson to guard Bacot, the results stand to be even worse. On the glass Alabama's three best rebounders are Aaron Estrada, Grant Nelson, and Nick Pringle. The trio averages 15.8 boards per game. Combined the North Carolina duo of Bacot and Ingram averages 19 rebounds per game. In terms of defensive rebounds, the Carolina advantage might be blunted by the often long rebounds from the Tide's missed threes.

Making the Bacot challenge worse is North Carolina also has Harrison Ingram to help Bacot dominate rebounding. At 6'8", Ingram is also a three-point threat, hitting 38.7% this season. The good news for Alabama is Ingram is not markedly better at the foul line than Nick Pringle.