Why Northwestern can’t get out of the ACC Coastal
The Wildcats have struggled to win games since their first trip to the ACC in 2017, when they lost to Virginia Tech and Georgia Tech in five games.
They’ll be trying to win their fifth straight league title this weekend, and they’ve struggled to get their offense going since a loss to North Carolina State on Dec. 8.
Northwestern’s offense has been stagnant at best, and its defense has been a disaster.
The Wildcats are 23nd in scoring offense and 26th in scoring defense.
The only team in the country ranked higher in scoring and defense is Boston College, but the Eagles have won three straight, while Northwestern has not.
The Northwestern offense has averaged 29.5 points per game, which ranks last in the nation.
Northwestern hasn’t scored more than 107 points in any of its last five games, and it’s allowed 100 points or more in four of its past five contests.
Northwestern is allowing opponents to shoot 54.5 percent from the field in those games.
The biggest reason the Wildcats haven’t won more than two in a row is their defense.
They rank dead last in points allowed per possession (26.5), allowing a league-low 39.7 points per contest.
Northwestern has allowed a league low 29.3 points per possession over the last five.
It’s the worst mark in the conference.
Northwestern should be able to get out to a good start against an FCS team that has been shut out by North Carolina and Georgia.
The Tar Heels have allowed a season-high of 106 points and just 24.8 percent shooting, which is tied for third-worst in the FCS.
The last time Northwestern had a loss in Chapel Hill was last season.
Northwestern won that game 67-62.
This will be the Wildcats’ third straight conference win.
Northwestern will be looking to start the weekend off on a strong note against a team with no ACC title hopes.
North Carolina has won five straight, but hasn’t had a winning record since its win over Kentucky on Jan. 5.
The Wolfpack are tied for 29th in the ACC standings at 6-8.
They’re also tied for second in the Atlantic Division at 9-7.
North Camels coach Roy Williams is in his second season as the Wolfpack’s coach.
Williams has won six of his past seven games against Northwestern, and he’s won the last three meetings between the teams.
Williams is averaging 21.5 ppg and 6.9 rpg in his past five matchups against the Wildcats.
Northwestern coach Pat Fitzgerald is in her fourth season as Northwestern’s coach and has won 11 of his last 13 games against North Carolina.
Northwestern defeated North Carolina in the last meeting between the two teams, 80-68 on Jan 6, 2018.
Fitzgerald has won seven of his previous nine games against the Tar Heel squad.
Northwestern ranks 28th in rushing offense (264.8 ypg), and the Wildcats rank 28th on defense (76.8).
Northwestern leads the nation in points per opponent (12.5) and is first in third-quarter scoring (10.5).
Northwestern is averaging 10.4 points in the third quarter.
The best player on the Wildcats is senior guard Ashley Johnson, who leads the team in scoring at 15.5.
Johnson is averaging 7.6 points per outing.
Johnson had six assists against UNC on Saturday, including two 3-pointers.
Northwestern needs to finish off the game quickly to have a chance to advance.
North Carolinians lead the ACC with 29 wins, but they are 3-3 against Northwestern this season.