UNC Archive

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Tar Heels end season in heartbreaking fashion

In what will go down as one of the most dramatic endings to an NCAA National Championship game, two three pointers in the last five seconds decided it.

In what will go down as one of the most dramatic endings to an NCAA National Championship game, two three pointers in the last five seconds decided it. After UNC’s Marcus Paige tied the score on a three with 4.7 seconds left, Villanova’s Kris Jenkins hit a long three at the buzzer to give Villanova a 77-74 victory and the NCAA title.

Unable to get inside, North Carolina still led 39-34 at the half after hitting seven threes. In the second half, Carolina went cold. On two different occasions, the Tar Heels went almost four minutes without scoring. After shooting over 50 percent in the first half, the Heels managed just 34 percent in the second half.

Meanwhile, Villanova, who shot 58 percent in the second half, went on a 19-7 run to take a five-point lead and increased the margin to 10 at 67-57 with 5:29 to go.

During a timeout, and down 10, UNC coach Roy Williams made the team a promise.

“I promised them if they did what I told them to do, we’d have a chance to win at the end,” Williams said with his voice cracking. “I just wish I could have done a little bit more.”

The Tar Heels did indeed come back and had a chance. Two free throws by Joel Berry, who scored 20 points, and a dunk by Brice Johnson cut the deficit to 67-61 with 4:11 left. A Berry three-point shot with 3:46 left cut the margin to three at 67-64.

Villanova’s Phil Booth, who scored a career-high 20 points off the bench, stopped the run with a big fade-away jumper in the lane to make it 69-64 with 3:09 left.

Down 70-64, UNC scored five straight on a three by Paige and a short jumper by Brice Johnson to cut the lead to 70-69 with 1:10 left. Nova’s Booth hit a couple of free throws after a controversial foul on UNC’s Isaiah Hicks that drew “ahs” and “boos” from the crowd when they watched the replay in the NRG Stadium.

Paige wouldn’t give up as he missed a driving layup, got the rebound and hit a reverse layup with 24 seconds left to once again draw the Heels to within a point at 72-71.

Villanova melted the clock until Johnson could foul Josh Hart but Hart hit both free throws to make it 74-71 with 14 seconds left.

That’s when Paige made perhaps the most remarkable shot of the season for Carolina when he double clutched in mid air and shot a three as his body was coming back down to earth. It went in with 4.7 seconds left to tie it at 74-all.

After a Villanova timeout, the Tar Heels set up a press so that the Wildcats would have to take it the length of the court. That’s just what happened as Ryan Arcidiacono dribbled up court, flipped it to Jenkins who shot the ball from the right side of the top of the key with less than a second to play. UNC’s Hicks was converging on him but couldn’t get there in time.

“When we were down 10, we believed we were going to win,” Paige said. “Kris (Jenkins) is their best three-point shooter. He got a pretty a clean look for whatever reason.”

The reason is that Hicks and Berry, covering Acridiacono, got into each other a bit and Hicks didn’t get out quick enough to bother the shot. “I think every shot’s going in, and this one was no different,” Jenkins said.

UNC’s Berry said, “I was just hoping it was still in his hand when the buzzer went off. It was tough feeling that confetti fall and it’s not for you.”

For much more on the game, including the box score, please click here.

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Does the revenge factor go to UNC or Notre Dame? Maybe neither

PHILADELPHIA, P.A. (WNCN) – Does the revenge factor go to North Carolina or Notre Dame? After all, the Tar Heels crushed the Irish 78-47 just a couple of weeks ago in the ACC Tournament Finals. But the Irish have beaten the Heels three of the last four meetings in the series, including an embarrassing Carolina collapse earlier this season. The Fighting Irish rallied from a 15-point deficit to upset the Tar Heels, 80-76, in South Bend on Feb. 6, 2016. UNC led 37-22 late in the first half and held a 10-point lead with 17 minutes to play. The Irish […]

PHILADELPHIA, P.A. (WNCN) – Does the revenge factor go to North Carolina or Notre Dame? After all, the Tar Heels crushed the Irish 78-47 just a couple of weeks ago in the ACC Tournament Finals. But the Irish have beaten the Heels three of the last four meetings in the series, including an embarrassing Carolina collapse earlier this season.

The Fighting Irish rallied from a 15-point deficit to upset the Tar Heels, 80-76, in South Bend on Feb. 6, 2016. UNC led 37-22 late in the first half and held a 10-point lead with 17 minutes to play. The Irish scored 23 second-chance points off 20 offensive rebounds.

“I guess if I was them, I would try to use that ACC game,” UNC’s Marcus Paige said of Notre Dame. “If it was us that got blown out, we would be talking about that nonstop up until the game, trying to get ourselves fired up for revenge.”

For their part, instead of talking about revenge, Notre Dame’s Steve Vasturia simply said, “I think we can learn a lot of things from that game.”

UNC’s Joel Berry remembers that regular season game earlier this year as well as two losses to the Irish last season. “It was good to beat them like that,” he said about the ACC Tournament blow out. “But… they beat us three out of the last four. So we’ve still got to get some revenge to them, too.”

So, again, will the revenge factor help North Carolina or Notre Dame? Maybe neither.

“Revenge can’t be the only motivating factor in a game that gets you to the Final Four,” Paige said. “That’s the biggest thing. This game is to go to the Final Four. I don’t care what happened in the past.”

The Tar Heels and Fighting Irish will meet on Sunday at 8:49 p.m. for a berth in the Final Four. “This is a one-game opportunity to change your season,” Paige said.

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Heels advance past Friars after impressive 2nd half

(From WNCN) North Carolina moved to 30-6 with an impressive second half showing to defeat Providence 85-66 and advance to the Sweet Sixteen to play Indiana. Brice Johnson led five Tar Heels in double figures with 19 points and 10 rebounds. Carolina was ahead just 34-30 at the half but came up with a 51-point second half. It was defense once again that got the offense going in the second half as the Heels got stops on one end and scored on the other. There were seven ties and seven lead changes before UNC took over. With the score tied […]

(From WNCN)
North Carolina moved to 30-6 with an impressive second half showing to defeat Providence 85-66 and advance to the Sweet Sixteen to play Indiana.

Brice Johnson led five Tar Heels in double figures with 19 points and 10 rebounds.

Carolina was ahead just 34-30 at the half but came up with a 51-point second half. It was defense once again that got the offense going in the second half as the Heels got stops on one end and scored on the other.

There were seven ties and seven lead changes before UNC took over. With the score tied at 41 all, Carolina scored nine straight to go up 50-41 and the Heels never trailed again.

After Providence’s Kris Dunn got loose for a dunk to tie it at 41, UNC’s Justin Jackson scored on a baseline floater, Joel Berry scored on a drive-by layup, Isaiah Hicks hit a spinning jumper and finally Johnson spun past his defender on the baseline to dunk it and get fouled. He hit the free throw to make it 50-41. Dunn, who sat much of the first half with two fouls, picked up his third foul during the barrage.

The lead dwindled to five at one point midway through the second half but a Marcus Paige three and four straight free throws from Johnson got the lead back up and the baskets started coming easier.

Isaiah Hicks, who scored 13 points on a perfect shooting night, muscled in to lay it up over the rim and was fouled. After his free throw, the Heels were in command at 70-51 with 5:51 left in the game. A couple of free throws from Justin Jackson, who scored 15 points (13 in the second half), gave the Heels their largest lead of the game at 76-54.

Carolina outscored Providence in the paint 46-18, and outrebounded the Friars 37-20.

Providence’s two best scorers – Dunn and Ben Bentil – were both in foul trouble for much of the game. The two combined for 50 of the Friars’ 66 points in 58 minutes of play. Bentil fouled out fairly late in the game and Dunn finished with four fouls.

UNC coach Roy Williams said the Heels were out of sync for much of the first half as the big men weren’t moving enough to get open. The Heels relied on jump shots much of the half but did manage a 34-30 halftime lead. He challenged the team as a whole to do the little things and he challenged individual players, such as Isaiah Hicks, who had zero rebounds in the first half but finished with seven.

“They scored the first six points of the second half and then, after that, we were really good,” Williams said.

“We have big-time dreams and goals,” he said. “We have the opportunity to see what’s going to happen in the next two weeks.”

Carolina takes on Indiana in Philadelphia on Friday night for a chance to reach the Elite 8.

For more on the game, including a box score, please go to WNCN here.

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In a well-played, exciting game, Tar Heels win ACC Tourney… finally

North Carolina had been to the ACC Tournament finals four out of the last five years but lost. This year, with the score tied at 44-all with nine minutes to play in the finals, the Tar Heels seemed bent on winning it this time. (3/11) The Tar Heels used a stifling defense and outscored the deliberate Virginia Cavaliers 11-2 over the next seven minutes to take a nine-point lead before settling for a 61-57 championship victory. During the deciding run, the Cavaliers missed 11 straight shots. Ironically, UNC’s Justin Jackson, who had not had a good game, came up with […]

North Carolina had been to the ACC Tournament finals four out of the last five years but lost. This year, with the score tied at 44-all with nine minutes to play in the finals, the Tar Heels seemed bent on winning it this time. (3/11)

The Tar Heels used a stifling defense and outscored the deliberate Virginia Cavaliers 11-2 over the next seven minutes to take a nine-point lead before settling for a 61-57 championship victory.

During the deciding run, the Cavaliers missed 11 straight shots. Ironically, UNC’s Justin Jackson, who had not had a good game, came up with two big buckets during the stretch. First, he rebounded a missed shot and quickly put the ball in the hoop to put the Heels up 48-44. Then he stole the ball and went the length of the court for a dunk giving the Heels their biggest lead of the game to that point at 53-46 with 4:49 to go.

The Heels got the lead to nine with 1:50 to go before surviving three late triples by Virginia. Joel Berry, the tournament’s MVP, hit a pair of free throws in the last second to wrap it up. He led all scorers with 19 points.

Carolina held Virginia to 36.5 percent shooting and held down ACC regular season MVP Malcolm Brogden, who hit just six of 22 shots, going two of nine from beyond the arc.

“Our defense has been terrific the last couple of weeks,” said Marcus Paige, who scored 13 and played Brogden most of the time. “I wanted to make everything tough and contested. I did a pretty good job of using my quickness. Other than one time he got me with a pump fake, I think I was there for everything else he did.”

It was the 18th tournament title but the first since the Heels got back-to-back titles in 2007 and 2008.

“Coach Smith said a long time ago you build your momentum once you get into the tournament,” UNC coach Roy Williams. “He talked about each tournament individually. We played pretty well five of the last six years we’ve been in this tournament but haven’t been able to finish it off. I’m hoping this will even give us some more confidence.”

For more on the game, including a box score, please click here.

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Huge Carolina run avenges losses to Notre Dame

North Carolina went on an 18-0 run at the end of the first half and scored the first six points of the second half and ran away with a 78-47 win over Notre Dame to earn the right to play for the ACC Tournament Championship. The Tar Heels, who play for the tourney title Saturday night, have lost four of the last five times they have reached the championship game, including to Notre Dame last season. A game at South Bend earlier this year also stuck in the Tar Heels’ minds. Carolina led big in that game and allowed the […]

North Carolina went on an 18-0 run at the end of the first half and scored the first six points of the second half and ran away with a 78-47 win over Notre Dame to earn the right to play for the ACC Tournament Championship.

The Tar Heels, who play for the tourney title Saturday night, have lost four of the last five times they have reached the championship game, including to Notre Dame last season. A game at South Bend earlier this year also stuck in the Tar Heels’ minds. Carolina led big in that game and allowed the Irish to come back and win.

“We felt like we gave one away when we played them at Notre Dame. Also they beat us in the ACC Championship game last year,” UNC’s Marcus Paige said. “We were really hungry for this one.”

Paige, who popped in four three-pointers, led the way for Carolina with 16 points and seven assists. “To knock down some shots like I know I’m capable of doing, hopefully will translate to the rest of year,” he said.

UNC coach Roy Williams credited Carolina’s defense at the end of the first half with the game-winning run. But he also said Notre Dame was tired after going to overtime Thursday night to beat Duke.

“I think it did a lot to take some legs out of Notre Dame,” Coach Williams said. “We were fortunate. I thought we played really well defensively the last five or six minutes of the first half, but they also missed some shots.”

The Tar Heels led just 23-22 with six minutes left in the first half. That’s when Carolina reeled off 18 straight points, starting with an Isaiah Hicks dunk and ending with a three-point bucket with two seconds left in the half.

To start the second half, Brice Johnson, who missed several minutes in the first half with foul trouble, scored twice and Justin Jackson dunked one to put Carolina in total command at 47-22.

The lead never got under 20 again and it got as high as 37 at 78-41 with three minutes left.

Joining Paige in double figures were four other Tar Heels. Johnson, who played only 16 minutes, scored 12 points as did Joel Berry, who hit a pair of threes. Jackson and Hicks each contributed 11. Hicks also hauled in a game-high 15 rebounds.

Carolina didn’t shoot great, only 43.5 percent, but the Heels held Notre Dame to 30 percent shooting.

“Our defense is definitely peaking,” Paige said. “We turned the corner a little bit defensively these past several weeks where we’ve been holding teams to low field goal percentages, doing a better job on the backboards.”

The Tar Heels, now 27-6, plays Virginia at 9 p.m. Saturday for the ACC Tournament title.

For more on the game, including a box score, please click here.

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Heels get pay back against Duke, win regular season title

North Carolina led late against Duke again but this time didn’t let it get away as the Tar Heels ruined the Blue Devils’ Senior Night with a 76-72 win that secures the ACC regular season title. Two weeks ago, the Tar Heels let a late 8-point lead evaporate and the Devils came away with a one-point win at the end. At Cameron Indoor Stadium, the Tar Heels led by nine at 68-59 with just over three minutes to play. Despite the Devils hitting their 11th, 12th and 13th threes, the Tar Heels hung on for the win by sinking eight […]

North Carolina led late against Duke again but this time didn’t let it get away as the Tar Heels ruined the Blue Devils’ Senior Night with a 76-72 win that secures the ACC regular season title.

Two weeks ago, the Tar Heels let a late 8-point lead evaporate and the Devils came away with a one-point win at the end. At Cameron Indoor Stadium, the Tar Heels led by nine at 68-59 with just over three minutes to play.

Despite the Devils hitting their 11th, 12th and 13th threes, the Tar Heels hung on for the win by sinking eight straight free throws, including four by Marcus Paige in the last nine seconds.

“We’ve been in here in this situation before,” said UNC’s Brice Johnson, who led the Heels with 18 points and 21 rebounds. “Free throw shooting down the stretch has hurt us against them in the past.” But this time? “We were able to withstand their run.”

The Carolina senior class had not won at Cameron in their careers and Paige and Johnson seemed particularly emotional after the game. “We fought,” Paige said. “We hadn’t won over here so this means a lot… We held on. We did what champions do.”

The ACC regular season title was the first for the Tar Heels since 2012. “We set dreams that are reachable and this was one of our dreams,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “It’s always more impressive to me to win the regular season… but I like winning the tournament too.”

The Tar Heels will be the No. 1 seed in the ACC tournament – and will face either Pitt or Syracuse Thursday at noon – while Duke falls to the No. 5 seed and thus won’t receive a double bye as the top four clubs do.

If Carolina rebounds like it did against Duke, the Tar Heels will be a tough out in the tourney. Of course, the Heels had a size and depth advantage inside against the Devils. Still, Carolina hauled in a season-high 64 rebounds, 35 more than Duke managed. The 27 offensive rebounds were also the most for the Heels this season.

Kennedy Meeks played better than he has in a while as he scored 12 points and got 14 rebounds. All five starters scored in double figures for the Heels as Justin Jackson added 13, Joel Berry 12 and Paige 11.

The game’s leading scorer however was Grayson Allen who scored 29 points, which included 18 from beyond the arc. Overall he was just 11 of 28 from the field but a long, long, long three with 18 seconds left kept the Blue Devils in it. That three pointer cut the margin to three at 70-67.

Berry swished the front end of a one-and-one and canned the bonus shot to put Carolina up 72-67 with 17 seconds left.

Luke Kennard swished a three from the left corner to pull the Devils within two at 72-70 with 10 seconds left. But Paige hit a pair of free throws with 8.8 seconds left and, after a Marshall Plumlee dunk, he hit two more free throws with 1.5 seconds left to wrap it up.

Paige summarized the game well when he said, “I knocked down some free throws and we got another terrific effort from Brice.”

For more on the game, including a box score, please click here.

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Tar Heels hang on for emotional victory

North Carolina led most of the way on Senior Night but let a 13-point second half lead dwindle to one late before hanging on for a 75-70 win against Syracuse. UNC coach Roy Williams said he didn’t care how the Tar Heels won, he just wanted to win for seniors Marcus Paige, Brice Johnson and Joel James. “It was extremely important to me for those guys to go out with a win,” he said. “I don’t remember more stress for a regular season game than tonight,” Coach Williams said, pointing to the fact that those three had been with him […]

North Carolina led most of the way on Senior Night but let a 13-point second half lead dwindle to one late before hanging on for a 75-70 win against Syracuse.

UNC coach Roy Williams said he didn’t care how the Tar Heels won, he just wanted to win for seniors Marcus Paige, Brice Johnson and Joel James. “It was extremely important to me for those guys to go out with a win,” he said.

“I don’t remember more stress for a regular season game than tonight,” Coach Williams said, pointing to the fact that those three had been with him through tough years, referring to the NCAA academic scandal.

During comments after the game at a Senior Day celebration, Coach Williams said he would never forget how they had all supported him and one another during “all the junk” as he called it. “This may be my favorite team of all time,” he said. “And we’ve had to some great teams with big-time players.”

Johnson was a big-time player for the Heels as he led the way with 14 points and 10 rebounds, and he came through after Syracuse had gone on a 22-12 run to cut a 13-point lead to three with seven minutes to go.

Johnson spun in the lane to get the lead to five and then pass full court to Justin Jackson for a layup to put the Heels up by seven and then hit a pair of free throws to give the Heels a nine-point cushion at 68-59 with 5:27 to go.

But Syracuse wasn’t done and went on an 9-1 run over three minutes, anchored by a Michael Gbinije three with 2:22 left that make it 69-68.

Paige, who had a season-high eight assists, passed to hits and then Isaiah Hicks tipped a rebound to Johnson who scored to get the lead up to five at 73-68 with 1:06 left.

After Syracuse cut it to three, it had a chance to tie or get within a point but missed. Joel Berry got the rebound, was fouled and hit two free throws with 6.6 seconds left to wrap it up.

Berry joined Johnson in double figures with 13 while Jackson, Hicks and Kennedy Meeks had 10 each.

The Tar Heels got 38 points in the paint and scored 16 points off offensive rebounds.

Syracuse, playing for an NCAA Tournament bid, fell to 19-11 overall and 9-8 in the ACC. Gbinije led them in scoring with 17.

The Tar Heels, 24-6 and 13-4 in the conference, have guaranteed themselves a double bye in the ACC Tournament and can win the regular season title outright with a win at Duke Saturday at 6:30 p.m.

For more on the game, including a box score, please click here.

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Big Virginia run stops Carolina

Virginia broke a second half tie with a 16-5 run from which North Carolina could not recover as the Cavs topped the Tar Heels 79-74 in Charlottesville. The Cavaliers remained undefeated at home on the season and pulled within a game of the Tar Heels in the ACC standings. Malcolm Brogdon scored 26 to lead Virginia while Anthony Gil scored six straight during the deciding run and finished with 15 points. UNC coach Roy Williams said that the Tar Heels were reacting to the Cavaliers the whole game. “The biggest factor in the game to me was that they played […]

Virginia broke a second half tie with a 16-5 run from which North Carolina could not recover as the Cavs topped the Tar Heels 79-74 in Charlottesville.

The Cavaliers remained undefeated at home on the season and pulled within a game of the Tar Heels in the ACC standings. Malcolm Brogdon scored 26 to lead Virginia while Anthony Gil scored six straight during the deciding run and finished with 15 points.

UNC coach Roy Williams said that the Tar Heels were reacting to the Cavaliers the whole game. “The biggest factor in the game to me was that they played with a high level of intensity on offensive and defense,” he said.

Joel Berry was able to keep the Tar Heels in it with a career-high 21 points, which included five three pointers.

Carolina trailed by as much as eight points in the first half and were down 38-35 at the break. The Heels tied it at 45-all on a spinning dunk with 15:47 to go. Unable to take a lead, UNC tied it again at 49-all with a Berry bucket in the lane with 13:44 to go.

That’s when Virginia went on the game-changing 16-5 run to make it 65-54. Carolina chipped away, getting the margin down to five four different times but couldn’t get it to a one-possession game until there were just 15 seconds left, when Marcus Paige hit a three to make it 77-74.

The Tar Heels had a chance to get it to one possession with 1:45 left and trailing 71-66 but Brice Johnson missed the front end of a one-and-one. In the last few minutes, the Heels missed four free throws, two of which were the front end of one-and-ones.

The Cavaliers were able to keep the ball out of Johnson’s hands most of the night. Johnson, who is the Heels leading scorer and rebounder, was a mere five of nine for 12 points. “We got to get him more than nine shots,” Coach Williams said.

The Heels also have to shoot better from the foul line where they were just seven of 13 while Virginia was 18 of 21 after hitting its first 14 free throws.

While the Tar Heels had a better field goal percentage (49 to 44) and outrebounded the Cavs (36-33), they turned the ball over five more times, scored 11 fewer points from the foul line and gave up four more second chance points.

Virginia improves to 22-6 overall and 11-5 in the ACC while UNC falls to 23-6 overall and 12-4 in the league.

The Tar Heels return home Monday night for a Senior Night game against Syracuse.

For more on the game, including a box score, please click here.

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UNC withstands Barber to win big over Pack

The crowd in Raleigh was jumpin’ as NC State’s Cat Barber was jukin’ and jivin’. But the Wolfpack’s first-half 13-point lead over rival North Carolina didn’t hold as the Tar Heels came back to lead at the half and ran away with an 80-68 win. Barber hit his first seven shots and the Pack led 23-10 after eight minutes. But the Tar Heels went on a workmanlike 28-6 run to go up 38-29. UNC’s Justin Jackson scored 12 of his 17 points during the run that included a pair of threes. UNC coach Roy Williams credited the play of Jackson […]

The crowd in Raleigh was jumpin’ as NC State’s Cat Barber was jukin’ and jivin’. But the Wolfpack’s first-half 13-point lead over rival North Carolina didn’t hold as the Tar Heels came back to lead at the half and ran away with an 80-68 win.

Barber hit his first seven shots and the Pack led 23-10 after eight minutes. But the Tar Heels went on a workmanlike 28-6 run to go up 38-29. UNC’s Justin Jackson scored 12 of his 17 points during the run that included a pair of threes.

UNC coach Roy Williams credited the play of Jackson during that stretch for righting the ship. “You never lose a game in the first half but it looked like they were running us out of the building,” he said.

“I was proud of our team, the way we withstood the initial eight or nine minutes,” he added. “It showed we were a veteran club. The guys didn’t go crazy.”

After Barber hit those first seven, three Tar Heels combined to hold him to just two of his next 14.

“I loved our start,” NC State coach Mark Gottfried said. “It was a great start but we didn’t sustain it. … They had too much offensive fire power for our guys.”

Leading 38-33 at the half, the Heels quickly worked the lead up to 10 at 45-35 before the Wolfpack cut it to three on a Caleb Martin three with 13:39 left.

But Carolina went on a 9-0 run over the next two minutes and the Pack never threatened again. The highlight of that stretch was once again Jackson as he drove by Rowan on the left baseline for a nifty up and under basket that drew a foul. After the Jackson free throw and a Brice Johnson follow, the Heels were up 61-48 with 11:30 left.

The lead never got below 10 the rest of the way as the Heels worked the lead up to as many as 19 points before settling for the 12-point win.

The Tar Heels defense settled down in the second half, forcing contested shots and staying in front of Barber.

Johnson had another double-double to lead the Tar Heels as he scored 22 points and hauled in 11 rebounds.

For more on the game, including a box score, please click here.

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Heels dominated Miami to regain form, regain first

After a sobering lost to rival Duke three days earlier that had some UNC fans swearing at and swearing off the Tar Heels and had some “experts” predicting the end for Coach Roy Williams, the Tar Heels dominated a strong Miami team 96-71 to reclaim sole possession of first in the ACC. (2/20) The Tar Heels made nine of 20 three-point attempts after going one of 13 against the Blue Devils. And six Tar Heels scored in double figures, led by Brice Johnson’s 16 and Justin Jackson’s 15. “We caught them on an afternoon when things were going really well […]

After a sobering lost to rival Duke three days earlier that had some UNC fans swearing at and swearing off the Tar Heels and had some “experts” predicting the end for Coach Roy Williams, the Tar Heels dominated a strong Miami team 96-71 to reclaim sole possession of first in the ACC. (2/20)

The Tar Heels made nine of 20 three-point attempts after going one of 13 against the Blue Devils. And six Tar Heels scored in double figures, led by Brice Johnson’s 16 and Justin Jackson’s 15.

“We caught them on an afternoon when things were going really well for us and not so well for them,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “Early in the second half, we made a bunch of shots in a row and I told the guys in the locker room I was happy about that, but I told them I was really pleased because I thought defensively we were more involved – everybody.”

Carolina shot 54 percent and led by as many as 38 points. Defensively, the Heels held the Hurricanes to about 35 percent until the Canes hit nine of the last 11 shots to get to 42 percent when the Heels were substituting freely.

”This one had a little more oomph to it because we did lose to Duke and it hurt a lot,” said Johnson, who had 15 rebounds. ”We just had to put that behind us and be able to move on.”

The game was actually tied seven times early but the Tar Heels went on a 15-3 run to take a commanding 30-18 after Jackson hit a three with 7:05 left in the first half.

Ahead 42-33 at the half, the Tar Heels went on another run early in the second half to all but erase any chance of a Miami comeback. Nate Britt capped a 16-2 run in the first five minutes of the second half with a three pointer to make it 58-35.

Carolina didn’t take its foot off the accelerator until the final five minutes of the game once the Heels had the margin up to 38 at 88-50.

Miami, 21-5 overall and 10-4 in the ACC, had won five straight and were tied with the Tar Heels for first before the game.

The Tar Heels, who travel to NC State Wednesday, now have sole possession of first with an 11-3 record in the ACC and a 21-5 overall mark.

For more on the game, including a box score, please click here.