Liz Condo-USA TODAY Sports
North Carolina Bench: Brice Johnson, Kennedy Meeks, Luke Davis
Kentucky Bench: Alex Poythress, Dakari Johnson, Dominique Hawkins
Each of these teams has three men grabbing at least 10 minutes per game off the bench. The upside for these groups is enormous.
For North Carolina, with the exception of Luke Davis, the reserves are coming in and outplaying the men they are replacing on a consistent basis. Brice Johnson has turned into the team's second-best player behind Marcus Paige while only playing 20.1 minutes per contest. And Kennedy Meeks is efficiency incarnate. He averages 8.5 points and 6.6 rebounds in fewer than 15 minutes of court time.
On the Kentucky side, the bench is pretty star-studded. Alex Poythress was a 5-star recruit coming out of high school and now, playing in his sophomore season, he is still settling in and trying to find his place. Dakari Johnson garnered a 5-star rating of his own entering his freshman season at Kentucky. He has shown glimpses of his abilities but is stuck behind a lot of talent and is playing just 10.2 minutes per game.
Dominique Hawkins, the team's most-used guard off the bench, hardly seems to fit on this roster. He is out of place on Kentucky as a 3-star prospect but has found a way to contribute to Coach Calipari's team.
With the way the two units are playing, Kentucky may have more talent coming off the bench, but North Carolina's group is certainly playing at a higher level right now.
Edge: North Carolina