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Butler v. North Carolina: 3-Point Preview

The Bulldogs open the Battle 4 Atlantis Tournament by facing old foes North Carolina.

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After breezing through their first three nonconference tilts, the Butler Bulldogs will face their first true test of the season in the form of the #5 North Carolina Tar Heels. It will not be an easy game for Butler, in the slightest. Here are the three things the Bulldogs are going to have to keep in mind to have a chance to compete.

History

To some, this might be a bit of a lame starting point, but let's take a look at last time these two teams faced off while one was in the top ten and one was unranked in a Thanksgiving tournament, shall we?

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Of course that North Carolina team was overrated, and this one may not be, but players like Kellen Dunham should be able to amp the team up and let them know an upset is possible, if only because he's lived through one before.

Containing Marcus Paige

Marcus Paige has been a bit underwhelming for Carolina so far this season, but he was named the top point guard in the country before the season by ESPN for a reason. He's slumping right now, but he could get out of it at a moment's notice. It will be interesting to see who Chris Holtmann has guarding Paige, and if he goes with Alex Barlow, or a bigger player like Roosevelt Jones.

Big Game Coaching

In the first three games, Chris Holtmann has been akin to a pilot flying a plane on autopilot. His team had much more talent than the other team, so he had to make few, if any, adjustments. That all changes against North Carolina. It will be the first time since his days at Gardner-Webb a few years back that Holtmann has had to make adjustments on the fly or gameplan for certain players like Marcus Paige or Kennedy Meeks. It will be interesting to see how he's able to do this.