The start of the NCAA Tournament has been absolutely spectacular with upsets, tight games and every position on the field scoring.
This evening, UNC will meet Colgate on Fetzer Field in Chapel Hill at 5:15pm in the first round of the tournament. Carolina comes in as the third seed, highest since being seeded number one in 1993 and Colgate enters unseeded but has the Patriot League title under their belt.
Colgate and UNC have met a total of three times prior to today’s matchup, lastly in 2009. Carolina has a 3-0 record in their match ups and the Raiders look to end their losing streak.
Carolina’s offense has tallied 220 goals this season to Colgate’s 157. The Red Raiders have let in 131 goals but if they can hold UNC to eight goals, they will have a very good chance at grabbing the win.
Matt Clarkson and Ryan Walsh both have 47 points for Colgate, followed by Anthony Abbadessa’s 38, Cameron Williams’ 28, Peter Donato’s 23 and Chase Wittich’s 22. The Red Raiders have a strong offense and will make the Tar Heel defense work. The same can be said for the Colgate defense, who will have to handle a high scoring, sneaky, shifty, quick and dominating Carolina offense. Joey Sankey, Jimmy Bitter, and Like Goldstock all have 60+ points. Chad Tutton is the next closest with 39 points of his own and Peyton Klawinski with nineteen points. After that, Pat Kelly has eleven and Walker Chafee and Tate Jazokos both have ten. There are twenty other players on the Tar Heels that have single digit points, making the Carolina offense deep and dangerous.
Face offs are key for Colgate as they are sitting at .37 win percentage. However, Carolina will have to watch their turnovers as Colgate has a strong caused turnover rate against their opponents.
Matchup of the day: Matt Yeager and Jimmy Bitter. If these two are matched up, it will be a heated battle. Bitter is the leader in points for UNC this season with 70. Yeager leads Colgate with 15 caused turnovers and will have a busy day ahead of him. On the other end, Austin Pifani and Ryan Walsh. Two big boys that will battle like the Giants they are. It’s going to be physical and brutal.
It’s the ‘Battle of the Burkes’ between the pipes as Colgate’s Brandon Burke has stopped 120 shots, taking in a .529 save percentage. Kieran Burke has made 128 saves this season and enters today with a save percentage of .538.
Game Time: 5:15pm
Location: Fetzer Field, Chapel Hill, NC