Currently on a four game winning streak, North Carolina will look for their tenth victory of the season when they travel to Pittsburgh on Friday.
As the Tar Heels return to ACC play, they appear to have found their footing and find themselves ranked inside the top-25 once again.
Standing in their way is a Panther team that is 2-0 in league play and enters as winners of eight of their last nine games.
Similar to North Carolina, Pitt has a plethora of players who can score the basketball, including four that average in double figures.
Forward Blake Hinson is the catalyst for Jeff Capel's squad, leading the way with a team-high 17.2 points and 7.4 rebounds.
Guard Jamarius Burton is connecting on 53.6 percent of shot attempts, recording 14.4 points per game and dishing out 4.5 assists.
Rounding out the backcourt is Nelly Cummings (11.2 points) and Greg Elliott (11.1 points), as Cummings also paces the roster with 4.8 assists per game.
For North Carolina, guarding the three point line and keeping the Panthers off of the foul line is key to continuing their success.
Six different players shoot 35 percent or better from the beyond the arc, while three have connected on 25 or more three-point attempts.
As a team, the Panthers shoot 72.3 percent from the charity stripe, but bode four different players who shoot 77 percent or better.
Nelly Cummings is close to automatic from the line at 95.7 percent, while Burton is sitting at 86.4 percent.
Rebounding is a strong suit for Pitt, who at 40.5 rebounds per game, sit slightly above the Tar Heels and first in the ACC.
As North Carolina returns from their holiday break, the first four minutes will be crucial in determining whether there is rust or if they have picked up right where they left off.
Preseason ACC Player of the Year Armando Bacot has returned to his NCAA Tournament form and spearheads the Tar Heel offense. Playing through Bacot and making the extra pass to turn a good shot into a great one has been impactful to their turnaround.
In the backcourt, Caleb Love's ability to share the basketball and serve as a playmaker has drastically improved over the course of the winning streak. He has recorded 22 assists during their four wins, including seven in the victory over Ohio State.
As for RJ Davis, finding his shot from beyond the arc again has helped create another dynamic to this offense. He is shooting 42 percent from three over the last four games and scored in double figures in three of those contests.
More importantly for North Carolina, they're playing like a team with confidence. The four game losing streak was the perfect recipe for disaster between five straight games away from home, an injured Bacot, and not having time to practice and fix their issues.
Now, as the calendar turns to 2023, the Tar Heels are playing like a top-25 team and appear to be headed in the right direction.
As losers of three of their four contests against the Panthers, they will attempt to extend their winning streak in Pittsburgh, where they are winners of three straight, and move over .500 in conference play.