March 2, 2015
THE FLATS – Georgia Tech closes out its regular season Tuesday night looking to even the season series against No. 19 North Carolina at 7 p.m. in a nationally televised game at McCamish Pavilion.
Tech, 12-17 overall and 3-14 in the ACC in its fourth season under head coach Brian Gregory, looks to avenge one of its two double-digit losses this season, an 89-60 verdict in Chapel Hill on Feb. 21. That loss began the Jackets’ current three-game losing streak, which includes a 52-51 loss to No. 17 Louisville and a 70-63 overtime loss Saturday at Clemson.
North Carolina is 20-9 overall and 10-6 in the ACC in its 12th season under head coach Roy Williams. The Tar Heels, in fifth place in the ACC, are 3-5 in their last eight conference games and 5-3 on the road in conference play this season, including a 73-64 win Saturday at Miami.
Tuesday’s game will be nationally televised on ESPNU, and will be streamed live on the WatchESPN app. The Georgia Tech IMG Radio Network, with flagship station WCNN (680 AM/93.7 FM) will also carry the game. Tech’s radio coverage can be heard on satellite radio nationally (Sirius Ch. 134, XM Ch. 193).
Following Tuesday’s game, Tech has a bye on the final weekend of the regular season. The Yellow Jackets will open the ACC Tournament on Tuesday against an opponent still to be determined at either 1 or 3 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum in Greensboro, N.C.
TECH HONORS SEVEN SENIORS TUESDAY NIGHT
Georgia Tech will honor seven seniors, including three players and four members of its student staff in pre-game ceremonies Tuesday night.
Demarco Cox – Fifth-year graduate student who played three-plus years at Ole Miss and has nearly matched his point production with the Rebels in his one season at Georgia Tech, averaging 8.6 points and 5.9 rebounds, both third on the team … Started all but one game this season … Enrolled in Tech’s graduate program in building construction and facility management.
Aaron Peek – Non-scholarship forward who is the only Yellow Jacket to have been on the team since the beginning of Brian Gregory’s tenure … Has played in 13 games and will graduate this spring with his bachelor’s degree in public policy.
Robert Sampson – Son of former Virginia All-America center Ralph Sampson who has played his final season at Tech after transfering from East Carolina … Has averaged 5.3 points and 6.5 rebounds, ranking 14th in the ACC in rebound average, and has started 12 games.
Student staff includes managers Gabe Altman (business administration) and Whitney Williams (business administration), athletic trainer Kyle Kenney (industrial and systems engineering) and assistant video coordinator H Ryan Slater (mechanical engineering).
STARTING FIVE (PLUS TWO) FOR TUESDAY
Tuesday will mark Tech’s second meeting with North Carolina in 12 days. The Tar Heels defeated Tech in Chapel Hill, 89-60, on Feb. 21.
Tech is locked into playing one of the two opening-round games of the ACC Tournament, which will be played Tuesday in Greensboro, N.C.
Tech’s strength of schedule is ranked No. 17 in ESPN’s RPI rankings, and its non-conference strength of schedule is ranked No. 66.
Tech ranks 15th nationally in rebound margin (+7.2), 12th in offensive rebounds per game (14.1).
Twelve of Tech’s 14 conference losses have come by a total of 46 points (North Carolina and Virginia the exceptions, each by 29). Tech has lost three times by one point, twice by two points, once by three, once by four, once by five, once by six and three times by seven. Three of those losses went to overtime. Conversely, Tech has defeated its three conference opponents by a total of 45 points, all in double digits and all wire-to-wire.
Tech ranks No. 29 in the nation in the adjusted defensive efficiency rating by Ken Pomeroy. The Jackets rank fourth in the ACC in scoring defense vs. conference teams.
Tech has a minus-0.73 “Luck” rating, KenPom.com’s measure of a team’s number of close games and its success in them. The Jackets rank No. 323 in that category, or to look at it another way, the 32nd unluckiest team in the country.
SERIES NOTES VS. NORTH CAROLINA
North Carolina has a 65-24 lead in the all-time series between the two teams, and a 51-22 advantage since Tech joined the ACC.
North Carolina has won the last five meetings in the series, including an 89-60 decision on Feb. 21, the first regular-season meeting between the two teams in 2014-15.
Before that, Tech had won four games in a row for its longest winning streak in the series. Tech is 10-12 against North Carolina dating back to the 2001-02 season.
The teams have played 38 times in the city of Atlanta, but met only 23 times at Alexander Memorial Coliseum, where the Tar Heels won 12 of 23. Tech won six of the last seven meetings in the Thrillerdome, however, and won six of eight against UNC in the Coliseum under Paul Hewitt.
Between 1982 and 1996, the Yellow Jackets played eight of their home games with the Tar Heels at the old Omni arena in downtown Atlanta (2-6 record). Counting ACC and SIC Tournament games played in the city, Tech is 14-21 vs. North Carolina in Atlanta.
Tech is 8-4 in games played away from Chapel Hill since 2000-01, including three ACC Tournament wins. The Jackets are 8-11 against the Tar Heels under Roy Williams, 8-12 against Williams all-time. Brian Gregory is 1-5 as a head coach against North Carolina, having beaten the Tar Heels in the 2010 NIT Championship while head coach at Dayton.
ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is beginning its fourth year under head coach Brian Gregory. The Yellow Jackets have been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993), played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004). Connect with Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball on social media by liking their Facebook Page, or following on Twitter (@GTMBK).