Jan. 28, 2014
THE FLATS – Home for the only time over a three-week period, Georgia Tech looks to bounce back from an overtime loss at NC State Sunday when it hosts North Carolina in a nationally televised game at 7 p.m. Wednesday night at McCamish Pavilion.
Less than 200 tickets remain for tomorrow night’s game, which can be seen nationally on ESPN2. Radio coverage of the game will be provided by the Georgia Tech IMG Sports Network and can be heard in Atlanta on WYAY-FM (106.7). The Tech radio broadcast can be heard nationally on satellite radio (Sirius ch. 93, XM ch. 191).
Tech (11-9, 2-5 ACC), in the midst of a stretch in which it plays four road games out of five. In a bid to win back-to-back road games last week, the Yellow Jackets lost an 11-point second-half lead in the second half and dropped an 80-78 decision in overtime to the Wolfpack Sunday at PNC Arena. Tech is 8-3 at home this season, having gone 1-2 in its most recent ACC homestand against Notre Dame, Pittsburgh and Miami.
In its third season under head coach Brian Gregory, Tech has played its entire conference schedule to date with no more than nine scholarship players, including two-year starting forward Robert Carter, Jr. Senior forward Jason Morris, who missed two games due to a concussion, returned to play at Boston College last week. Despite its shorthandedness, Tech has played well offensively, outpacing its scoring output against the conference from a year ago and shooting better than it ever has under Gregory.
North Carolina (12-7, 2-4 ACC) has won two of its last three games after an 0-3 start in ACC play. The Tar Heels battered Clemson, 80-61, at home Sunday night and have also defeated Boston College at home, but are 0-3 on the road on conference play. They remain one of the best offensive teams in the ACC, averaging 75.4 points per game (4th).
After Wednesday’s game, Tech is back on the road for a 12 noon contest Saturday at Wake Forest and an 8 p.m. game Tuesday at Clemson. The Yellow Jackets are back home Feb. 8 against Virginia.
Fast Break Points
Wednesday night’s game is the only home game Georgia Tech plays over a three-week period between Jan. 18 and the Yellow Jackets’ next home game on Feb. 8, which commences an unprecedented four-game homestand of ACC games.
Georgia Tech has won four of its last nine ACC road games, winning at Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Miami and Boston College in that stretch. The Yellow Jackets won only three times in 36 ACC road games before that dating back to the 2008-09 season.
Georgia Tech has been relatively successful in recent years at home against North Carolina, having won six of its last eight homecourt meetings against the Tar Heels dating back to 2002. The Yellow Jackets actually won 10 of the last 17 meetings overall before dropping the last three straight.
Tech has played its ACC games this season with as few as eight scholarship players, competing without four members of the team who had combined for 22 starts and were key parts of the rotation at the start of pre-season practice – forward Robert Carter, Jr., swingman Jason Morris, and guards Travis Jorgenson and Solomon Poole. Morris returned to play at Boston College after missing two games with a concussion.
The absence of Carter, Jr., has hurt Tech in several ways, most notably on the glass, where the Yellow Jackets have been beaten on the boards three times in the seven games the ACC’s leading rebounder has missed. Tech had won the rebound battle against all 13 non-conference opponents this season.
The absences of Poole (missed last four games) and Jorgenson (knee injury on Nov. 20) have led to increased playing time for red-shirt freshman Corey Heyward, who missed last season with a knee injury of his own.
Series Notes vs. North Carolina
North Carolina has a 63-24 lead in the all-time series between the two teams, and a 49-22 advantage since Tech joined the ACC.
North Carolina has won the last three meetings in the series, including a two-game season sweep by the Tar Heels in 2012-13 for the first since the 2000-01 season and a 93-81 decision in Chapel Hill in the teams’ only 2011-12 meeting.
Before that, Tech had won four games in a row for its longest winning streak in the series. Tech has split the last 20 meetings with North Carolina dating back to the 2001-02 season.
The teams have played 36 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 8-9 against the Tar Heels under Roy Williams, 8-10 against Williams all-time. Brian Gregory is 1-4 as a head coach against North Carolina, having beaten the Tar Heels in the 2010 NIT Championship while head coach at Dayton.
Tech has lost nine of the last 10 meetings in the Smith Center and is 4-22 all-time in the building. Counting regular-season games in Greensboro, Tech is 5-29 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.
About Georgia Tech Men’s Basketball
Georgia Tech’s men’s basketball team is in its third year under head coach Brian Gregory. The Yellow Jackets have been a member of the Atlantic Coast Conference since 1979, won three ACC Championships, played in the NCAA Tournament 16 times and played in two Final Fours (1990, 2004).