Sunday , Dec , 31 , 2006 C.Y. Ellis

Tar Heels put perfect home mark on line

Chapel Hill, NC (Sports Network) – The second-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels
have not been tested much this season, and they will attempt to add
another victory to their impressive record as they host the Dayton Flyers in
non-league action.

Dayton is set to play host to its highest-ranked opponent since 1996 when
the club battled then top-ranked UMass. The Flyers are an impressive 10-2
overall, the best record of any Atlantic 10 team. They are set to play
their second straight top-10 team on the road for the first time in program
history. The club has been idle since last Saturday when it was crushed by
Pittsburgh, 84-54, snapping an eight-game winning streak.

North Carolina was expected to be a force this season, and the team’s 11-1
record suggests that Roy Williams and company have lived up to the hype. The
Heels improved to 7-0 at home with an 87-48 thrashing of Rutgers on Thursday,
marking the eighth consecutive win for the team. The lone defeat came against
Gonzaga well over a month ago, and UNC has beaten the likes of Tennessee, Ohio
State and Kentucky along the way.

Dayton won the only previous meeting with North Carolina way back in 1967.

Dayton leads the Atlantic 10 in scoring defense, as the club is only
surrendering 59.2 ppg. The Flyers had limited six straight opponents to 55
points or less from November 28th through December 20th, marking the first
time that feat was accomplished in 56 years. Clearly, the most important
player on the Dayton team is Brian Roberts, a standout guard who does a little
bit of everything for his club. Roberts ranks among the top five in the A-10
in scoring, assists, minutes and free throw percentage. He is posting 17.3 ppg
and needs to be accounted for on every offensive trip down the floor. Against
Pittsburgh, Roberts came through with 21 points, but he got little help from a
lackluster supporting cast that does not feature a single double-digit scorer.
The Flyers shot 33.3 percent from the floor in that game and suffered a 45-22
rebounding disadvantage. Dayton is only scoring 64.7 ppg as a team, but it is
limiting foes to 59.2 ppg on 40.5 percent shooting from the floor.

The mighty Tar Heels feature three double-digit scorers and a host of other
players with the talent to put up strong offensive numbers. Tyler Hansbrough
was an All-American as a freshman a year ago, and he has proven that his
efforts as a rookie were a clear indication of his tremendous ability. So far
this season, the sophomore power forward is posting 18.6 ppg and 8.1 rpg,
while shooting 54.7 percent from the floor. He gets plenty of help up front
from Brandan Wright, as the sensational freshman is posting 15.7 ppg and 6.5
rpg. Wayne Ellington, another freshman, is contributing 12.7 ppg on the
strength of his 43.1 percent shooting from three-point range. The Heels are
racking up 89.6 ppg on 51.5 percent shooting from the floor, and they are
limiting foes to 66.4 ppg on 40.7 percent efficiency from the field. In the
recent romp over Rutgers, Wright paced a balanced offensive attack with 19
points.

DAYTON NCAROLINA