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UNC opponent preview: Miami

10/8/2012

As we count down to Late Night With Roy Williams (Oct. 12) and the beginning of basketball practice, let’s take a look at an opponent on North Carolina’s schedule ....

Opponent: Miami

Date(s): Jan. 10 (in Chapel Hill, N.C.) and Feb. 9 (in Coral Gables, Fla.)

Series results: UNC leads 18-2 (the Tar Heels won both games last season)

Miami last season: 20-13, 9-7 in the ACC

Foe to know: Reggie Johnson, 6-foot-10 center, senior

UNC’s Tyler Zeller used to be downright exhausted after spending a game matched up with the 284-pound Johnson, and if the senior returns to his sophomore form (Johnson missed the beginning of last season after a knee injury), he could be downright exhausting to everyone in the league this season, as well.

And dealing with the Canes’ other starting forward doesn’t get any easier, either. Junior Kenny Kadji, who averaged a team-leading 14.8 ppg last season in league play, likes to hit 3-pointers on one end of the floor and block shots on the other.

Tidbits: The Hurricanes may have lost starter Malcolm Grant from last season’s team, but they’re loaded. Along with Johnson and Kadji: Durand Scott led Miami in points (12.9) and assists (3.1) last season; Shane Larkin was an ACC All-Freshman pick; Rion Brown averaged close to 16 ppg in his final three starts; and Julian Gamble was granted a rare sixth season of eligibility. … Scott will sit out the first three games of the season as he serves the rest of a six-game suspension handed down by the NCAA last March for receiving impermissible benefits.

Previous schedule previews:

Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.