No. 20 Irish have outside shot against No. 12 Tar Heels

North Carolina's ongoing questions about the ability to defend perimeter shooters likely become more relevant on Sunday afternoon.

That's because No. 20 Notre Dame is the Atlantic Coast Conference opponent at the Greensboro Coliseum for a rematch of last March's East Regional final in the NCAA Tournament in Philadelphia.

The game was postponed from Saturday night and moved about 50 miles from the Chapel Hill, N.C., campus, which has been closed since Friday afternoon because of a water emergency in the city.

A major water main break is at the heart of the issue, creating the declaration of a state of emergency in the area.

Neither team has played in Greensboro since the 2015 ACC Tournament championship game, which was won by Notre Dame.

Regardless of the venue, Notre Dame's outside shooting should test the No. 12 Tar Heels' attention to defense.

"It's hard to handle, but we have to do it and we are going to face (a Notre Dame team) that shoots a bunch of 3s," North Carolina coach Roy Williams said.

Notre Dame (17-6, 6-4 in the ACC) arrives on a three-game losing streak, so the Tar Heels (20-4, 8-2) will want to pounce on this opportunity.

"We've got to stay in front of the ball better," North Carolina guard Justin Jackson said. "We've got to communicate. For us, it's just being locked in the whole time."

Notre Dame coach Mike Brey has suggested there could be lineup changes.

Brey likes going with a guard-oriented grouping, but he said he knows there's a drawback to that when facing a team with North Carolina's inside size.

"That's a tricky one because we do want to play small sometimes," Brey said. "It's a group responsibility. So can we ride our small group?

"What do we do with our spacing and movement? Our spacing is something we have to be better at. In the second half against Duke (in a loss Monday night), we were able to some of that to open up the floor."

Even though North Carolina is a high-scoring team, much of the emphasis tends to fall on the defensive end.

"I think we've got to continue to do a better job of making a guy uncomfortable," guard Joel Berry said. "We can do that and take the offense out of what they want to do. That will help us. We've just got to get down and guard."

The momentum from Notre Dame's strong start to the season has started to fade, but Brey said the Irish have displayed the right mindset.

"This group has already done some tough stuff," he said. "They're pretty stable and come every day ready to work. All we can do right now is see if we can get one and get going again.

" ... We've kind of played ourselves out of situations like this. I'm fully aware you're back on your heels a little bit and could use a little early success."

Since Notre Dame joined the ACC, the Irish have won three of seven games against North Carolina.

Brey said by Notre Dame having some success against North Carolina that has given the Irish credibility within the ACC and nationally.

"We've played great, big, high-level, a-lot-on-the-line games with them -- the ACC championship, the East Regional final," Brey said.

North Carolina leads the all-time series 20-7, including two victories in three 2016 games.

For now, the Irish are simply trying to snap out of their funk that has included losses to Virginia, Georgia Tech and Duke.

"We'd like to have one to get to seven league wins because we haven't had one in a while," Brey said.

Jackson has reached the 20-point mark in four consecutive games, something that hadn't been accomplished by a North Carolina player since 2011.

Going forward, the change in game date could impact Notre Dame more than North Carolina. The Irish play again Tuesday night at home against Wake Forest, while North Carolina is off until Thursday night's game at Duke. North Carolina's next home game comes Feb. 18 against Virginia.

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