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Tech Opens ACC Play at North Carolina

GEORGIA TECH VS. NORTH CAROLINA


THE FLATS – On the road for the fifth time in 10 games this season, Georgia Tech travels to Chapel Hill, N.C., to open its Atlantic Coast Conference schedule against 2022 NCAA runner-up North Carolina, Saturday at 3:15 p.m. at the Dean Smith Center.

Tech (6-3) gathered some momentum for its conference opener by winning its last two games, most recently a 79-77 thriller at home over in-state rival Georgia Tuesday night, which followed an 81-63 home win over Northeastern last Friday. The Yellow Jackets, who have won all five of their home games this season, have split their two true road games to date, winning at Georgia State on Nov. 12 and falling at Iowa on Nov. 29, Tech also dropped games to Utah and Marquette in the Fort Myers Tip-Off.

North Carolina (5-4) opened its season with five straight wins before suffering a pair of defeats to Iowa State and Alabama (in four overtimes) at the Phil Knight Invitational Thanksgiving week. The Tar Heels have since lost at Indiana on Nov. 30 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge and at Virginia Tech in their ACC opener last Saturday.

Saturday’s game will be televised nationally on ESPN, with a live stream available on the ESPN app. Radio coverage is on the Georgia Tech Sports Network by Legends Sports and flagship station 680 the Fan (680 AM/93.7 FM), and also on satellite radio (SiriusXM channel 392, SXM app 982.

SERIES VS. NORTH CAROLINA

  • North Carolina has a 71-27 lead in the all-time series between the two teams, and a 57-25 advantage since Tech joined the ACC (one Tech win in 2016-17 vacated by NCAA Committee on Infractions).
  • The Tar Heels have won 11 of the last 14 games in the series and each of the last two, sweeping the 2021-22 regular season series (79-62 in Atlanta, 88-65 in Chapel HIll). Tech won the two meetings before that, a 72-67 win at McCamish Pavilion in the teams’ only 2020-21 meeting and a 96-83 victory at the Dean Smith Center in the teams’ only meeting of the 2019-20 season.
  • Tech is 13-15 against North Carolina dating back to the 2001-02 season.
  • Tech is 8-6 in games played away from Chapel Hill since 2000-01, including three ACC Tournament wins.
  • Tech has lost 13 of the last 15 meetings in the Smith Center and is 5-26 all-time in the building. Counting regular-season games in Greensboro, Tech is 6-33 on the road against UNC.
  • In ACC Tournament play, the Yellow Jackets have won five of nine meetings, and Tech has won the last three encounters (2004, 2005, 2010). Two of Tech’s five tournament wins occurred in championship games, the 1985 final in Atlanta and the 1993 final in Charlotte.
  • Tech’s greatest success in its series with North Carolina occurred during the middle 1990s when the Jackets won five of seven meetings, including three straight wins over No. 1-ranked Tar Heel teams during the 1993 and 1994 campaigns.

 

Deivon Smith (11.2 ppg) has scored in double digits in six games, and ranked 4th in the ACC in assist/turnover ratio. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 

BUZZ BYTES

  • Saturday’s game marks the second straight year, the fourth time in the last eight years, and the eighth time in its conference history that Tech opens its ACC schedule against North Carolina. The Jackets are 2-5 in previous openers, both coming under head coach Josh Pastner.
  • Tech is 18-25 all-time in ACC openers, 8-15 when those games are on the road. (see complete list next page)
  • Tech has started the lineup of Deebo Coleman, Deivon Smith, Miles Kelly and Jalon Moore around Ja’von Franklin for the last four games and won three of them. Only Coleman and Smith have started all nine games this season.
  • Tech used just eight players in the game for the first time this season against Georgia after carrying a nine-player rotation through its first eight games. All eight scored in the game. Miles Kelly was the last to scratch, scoring all 17 of his points after halftime.
  • Four or more Tech players have scored in double figures in six of nine games this season.
  • The Tech-Georgia game featured 18 lead changes and 11 ties. Before Tuesday night, the most ties (8) and lead changes (8) occurred Nov. 12 at Georgia State.
  • Tech has won the turnover battle in seven of nine games and has reached its target of 11 or fewer six times this season. The Yellow Jackets have a season turnover margin of plus-2.8, which ranks fifth in the ACC. Its percentage of possessions that end in turnovers (15.2 pct.) ranks 17th nationally.
  • Tech played its most efficient game of the season offensively against a power conference foe (116.5 points per 100 possessions). The Jacket have topped that figure only against Clayton State (117.8) and North Alabama (125.2), and posted a 115.9 rate in its most recent game against Northeastern.
  • Tech is No. 2 in the ACC in offensive rebounds per game (13.1), and has turned those into 14.1 second-chance points per game.
  • Miles Kelly has led Tech in scoring in each of the last three games (21 vs. Iowa, 16 vs. Northeastern, 17 vs. Georgia) and has reached double figures in seven of nine games this season.
  • Kelly has started Tech’s last four games (after coming off the bench for the first five), and has averaged 16.5 points and 4.8 rebounds over that stretch. He has connected on 23-of-44 shots from the floor, 11-of-22 from three-point range and 9-of-10 from the line across those four games.
  • Kelly has scored the game-winning basket for Tech against each of its in-state foes this season. He banked in a runner with four seconds left for the winning points at Georgia State on Nov. 12, and his floater from the lane gave Tech the lead for good with 23 seconds left Tuesday against Georgia.
  • Deivon Smith has reached double figures in six of nine games with his 10 points against Georgia, and matched his career best in a Tech uniform for assists with six.
  • Smith has 29 assists in his last seven games (4.1 per game) and leads the Yellow Jackets with 3.6 per game. He has a 29:14 assist/turnover ratio for the season, fourth-best in the ACC.
  • Ja’von Franklin has reached double figure points in four games, and did so against Georgia for the first time since Marquette. He fell one rebound shy of his third double-double of the season (13 points, 9 rebounds).
  • Franklin has blocked at least one shot in every game this season and has averaged 2.2 for the season, No. 2 in the ACC and No. 23 in the nation. He has 20 total blocks, matching Rodney Howard’s team-leading total of 20 from 2021-22.
  • Jalon Moore has scored in double figures in four straight games since entering the starting lineup, averaging 12.8 points and 6.8 rebounds over that stretch, while hitting 18-of-37 from the floor and 15-of-18 from the line.

Jalon Moore has started Tech’s last four games, and has averaged 12.8 points and 6.8 rebounds in those games. (photo by Danny Karnik)

 


Competitive Drive Initiative

In a unified endeavor, Georgia Tech, the Georgia Tech Foundation, Georgia Tech athletics and the Alexander-Tharpe Fund have come together to accelerate funding for student-athlete scholarships with the launch of the Competitive Drive Initiative. The initiative met its initial fundraising goal of $2.5 million in less than six weeks and has extended its target to $3.5 million raised by Dec. 31. Any new gift to the A-T Fund’s Athletic Scholarship Fund made through Dec. 31 will be matched dollar-for-dollar by the Georgia Tech Foundation, meaning that if the $3.5 million fundraising goal is met, the matching gift would result in a $7 million impact for Georgia Tech athletics. To learn more and to contribute online, visit atfund.org/accelerate.

ABOUT GEORGIA TECH MEN’S BASKETBALL

Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team has completed six seasons under head coach Josh Pastner, winning the Atlantic Coast Conference championship in 2021 and making its first NCAA Tournament appearance in 11 years. Tech has been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won four ACC Championships (1985, 1990, 1993, 2021), played in the NCAA Tournament 17 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 (@GTMBB) and Instagram. For more information on Tech basketball, visit Ramblinwreck.com.

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