UNC Archive

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Carolina’s yo-yo season on the downswing again

UNC coach Roy Williams might have had something a few days again when he said his Tar Heels couldn’t stand prosperity. Coming off a key comeback victory over ACC leader Florida State, the Tar Heels went up to Syracuse and fell 72-70. (3/1) The Orange scored 28 points off 20 UNC turnovers while the Heels scored only nine off 11 Syracuse turnovers. Coach Williams admitted that the turnovers have been frustrating as he credited Syracuse for their 15 steals and nine blocks. “Their defense was much stronger than our offense today,” he said Carolina also struggled mightily from beyond the […]

UNC coach Roy Williams might have had something a few days again when he said his Tar Heels couldn’t stand prosperity. Coming off a key comeback victory over ACC leader Florida State, the Tar Heels went up to Syracuse and fell 72-70. (3/1)

The Orange scored 28 points off 20 UNC turnovers while the Heels scored only nine off 11 Syracuse turnovers.

Coach Williams admitted that the turnovers have been frustrating as he credited Syracuse for their 15 steals and nine blocks. “Their defense was much stronger than our offense today,” he said

Carolina also struggled mightily from beyond the arc, hitting just four of 20 three pointers while Syracuse’s Buddy Boeheim alone was 6 of 13 en route to a game-high 26 points.

The Orange went on an 11-0 run at the end of the first half to take a 34-28 halftime edge after the Tar Heels had actually led by nine with under seven minutes left in the opening stanza.

The Tar Heels seemed to have righted the ship with an 8-1 run to start the second half but Syracuse quickly went on an 15-2 run of its own to take command at 50-38.

Syracuse extended the margin to 14 before Carolina started a scrambling comeback. With less than two minutes to go, Leaky Black hit a free throw, missed the second and Carolina came up with the ball. Caleb Love almost immediately sank a rare three to cut the score to 68-62.

R.J. Davis hit a three and followed it up 25 seconds later with a driving layup after Carolina pressure created a steal to make it a two-point game at 70-68 with 19 seconds left.

Syracuse’s Joseph Girard, an 80 percent free throw shooter, hit one of two with 13 seconds left.

Carolina had a chance to tie it but Syracuse chose to foul Love. Coach Williams said he planned for Love to miss the second free throw in an attempt to tie it or take the lead at the buzzer. But, alas, Love missed the first and second free throws ending the threat.

Garrison Brooks scored at the border for the final tally.

Carolina, led by Armando Bacot’s 18 points and 15 rebounds, fall to 15-9 and 9-6 in the ACC while Syracuse, squarely on the NCAA bubble, improves to 14-8 and 8-7 in the league.

The Tar Heels end the regular season Saturday at home against rival Duke.

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

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Kessler leads Heels from 16 down to win

North Carolina freshman Walker Kessler, forced into extended play due to UNC foul trouble, responded with 20 points to lead the Tar Heels to perhaps a tournament-clinching comeback over 11th-ranked Florida State 78-70 in Chapel Hill. (2/27) After laying an egg against Marquette in a game with no fans, about 3,000 fans were allowed into the Smith Center to cheer on the Heels as they fought back from a 16-point deficit. “I wanted to bounce back desperately,” said UNC Coach Roy Williams, who earned his 900th coaching victory with the win. “That was the best 3200-3400 crowd I’ve seen in […]

North Carolina freshman Walker Kessler, forced into extended play due to UNC foul trouble, responded with 20 points to lead the Tar Heels to perhaps a tournament-clinching comeback over 11th-ranked Florida State 78-70 in Chapel Hill. (2/27)

After laying an egg against Marquette in a game with no fans, about 3,000 fans were allowed into the Smith Center to cheer on the Heels as they fought back from a 16-point deficit.

“I wanted to bounce back desperately,” said UNC Coach Roy Williams, who earned his 900th coaching victory with the win. “That was the best 3200-3400 crowd I’ve seen in my life. They helped us win the game.”

Still down by 12 at the half after turning over the ball 14 times and shooting just 25 percent, the Tar Heels came out of the lockerroom on fire with the 7-foot-1 Kessler making the second-half start over Armando Bacot, who was saddled with three fouls and no points.

In less than three minutes, the Tar Heels went on a 10-0 run, highlighted by six points from Kessler, to pull within a bucket at 41-39.

Carolina tied it on a Leaky Black jumper and then took the lead at 46-44 on a Kessler dunk.

The lead went back and forth for about four minutes but after Bacot scored his first points of the game to put the Heels up 52-50 with 11:46 to play, the home team never trailed again.

It stayed close but the Tar Heels did something they don’t normally do that allowed them a cushion down the stretch – they hit free throws. In fact, Carolina hit every free throw in the second half, including 10 in the last 2:15 to salt it away.

Not only did the Tar Heels finish by hitting 27 of 30 free throws, but the Heels hit 50 percent of their shots from the floor in the second half and cut their turnovers in half.

Coach Williams has been emphasizing free throw shooting in practice. He said in practice between the Marquette loss and this game, each player shot 300 free throws and no one hit less than 83 percent of them with seven players hitting over 90 percent.

“You get confident making free throws when there’s a little heat,” Coach Williams said adding that players who miss free throws at practice get in some extra running.

But Coach Williams saved his biggest praise for Kessler, whose playing time has been increasing even before Bacot’s foul trouble. “Walker was huge for us,” he said. “Just sensational.”

Kessler not only hit nine of 10 shots for 20 points but he pulled down eight rebounds, blocked four shots and even picked up a steal.

“He’s a great kid. He cares so much that he beats himself up,” Coach Williams said. “The guys found him around the basket and he’s a great finisher. I’m happy as I can be for him.”

Unless the team falls apart in the last two games of the regular season and in the ACC tournament, this win over the top team in the ACC likely clinches a spot in the NCAA Tournament next month.

UNC improves to 15-8 and 9-5 in the ACC while Florida State, led by Raiquan Gray’s 17 points, fall to to 14-4 overall and 10-3 in the conference.

The Tar Heels travel to Syracuse Monday night before finishing out the regular season next Saturday hosting Duke.

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

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Which ACC football signees found the best situations?

Here are five signees at each position who are a great fit for the programs they chose. Read more…

Here are five signees at each position who are a great fit for the programs they chose. Read more…

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Tar Heels pour it on a rusty Louisville team

North Carolina played its most complete game of the season against a higher-rated Louisville team that is coming off 19 days of inactivity in a 99-54 rout. (2/20) Carolina scored its most points of the season and shot its highest percentage of the year at 61 percent. “We shot the ball well and we didn’t turn it over much,” UNC coach Roy Williams surmised adding that the Heels caught a Louisville team “that didn’t have their game legs.” The Tar Heels had more points in the paint (58) than Louisville had in total. Big man Day’Ron Sharpe led the way […]

North Carolina played its most complete game of the season against a higher-rated Louisville team that is coming off 19 days of inactivity in a 99-54 rout. (2/20)

Carolina scored its most points of the season and shot its highest percentage of the year at 61 percent.

“We shot the ball well and we didn’t turn it over much,” UNC coach Roy Williams surmised adding that the Heels caught a Louisville team “that didn’t have their game legs.”

The Tar Heels had more points in the paint (58) than Louisville had in total. Big man Day’Ron Sharpe led the way for Carolina with 21 points and 11 rebounds off the bench in just 18 minutes of play.

Four of the five Tar Heels in double figures were the big guys inside. Armando Bacot, who was in foul trouble and played just 18 minutes, scored 14 points while Garrison Brooks tallied 12 and Walker Kessler, off the bench, added 10.

While Carolina controlled the offensive and defensive boards inside, the Heels also got good outside shooting, led by freshman Kerwin Walton who scored 19 points on five of seven three-pointers.

“It was a close game and then Kerwin hit two or three threes,” Coach Williams said. Then Sharpe took over the offensive boards.

The Tar Heels got off to a hot start, hitting seven of their first eight shots but still found themselves tied with the Cardinals midway through the first half at 18-all.

Walton swished a three to break the tie. Less than two minutes later he scored in the lane and within two minutes after that he drained back-to-back threes to put Carolina in command at 33-23.

The Tar Heels finished the first half on 21-6 run to take a 48-29 halftime lead. In the final seconds, Brooks stole a pass and got it to Caleb Love who rushed in for a dunk at the buzzer.

An active Tar Heel team didn’t let up in the second half as a 16-3 run over a five-minute period during the middle of the half ended any doubt that the home team would be victorious.

An R.J. Davis three from right in front of Roy Williams gave the Tar Heels a 76-44 advantage with just over seven minutes to go.

A 23-6 run over the last six minutes resulted in the second largest point differential in an ACC game for Carolina during the Roy Williams era. The largest differential was a 107-56 romp over N.C. State in 2017.

UNC improves to 14-7 and 8-5 in the ACC while Louisville, led by Carlik Jones’ 13 points, fall to 11-5 overall and 6-4 in the conference.

The Tar Heels, who lost a Boston College game last week, pick up a non-conference game at home against Marquette Wednesday at 7 p.m.

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

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Carolina picks up game, picks up win

UNC, having had only six home games due to COVID issues, went out and picked up a last-second non-conference game with Northeastern and picked up an impressive 82-62 victory. (2/17) Coming off a game where no Tar Heels scored in double figures, four scored in double figures in this one with two others close behind. Day’Ron Sharpe, off the bench, led the way with 15 points while Kerwin Walton, who hit three triples, was close behind with 14. Senior Garrison Brooks accomplished a double-double with 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds while freshman Walker Kessler added 10 points. Northeastern’s […]

UNC, having had only six home games due to COVID issues, went out and picked up a last-second non-conference game with Northeastern and picked up an impressive 82-62 victory. (2/17)

Coming off a game where no Tar Heels scored in double figures, four scored in double figures in this one with two others close behind. Day’Ron Sharpe, off the bench, led the way with 15 points while Kerwin Walton, who hit three triples, was close behind with 14.

Senior Garrison Brooks accomplished a double-double with 11 points and a game-high 13 rebounds while freshman Walker Kessler added 10 points.

Northeastern’s Tyson Walker kept the game close for most of the first half as he scored 21 of his game-high 27 points. Carolina led just 28-26 with five minutes left in the first half but the Heels closed out the half on a 13-4 run.

Freshman point guard Caleb Love started the run as he drove the lane for a bucket and then dished to Sharpe for a give-and-go dunk. Senior Andrew Platek scored Carolina’s next six points in three different ways to give the Heels a 10-point cushion at 38-28. Platek hit an 18-footer, then got an offensive rebound and put it in at close range before he picked off a pass and went in for a layup.

Up 41-30 at the half, the Heels quickly worked the lead up to 15 as Walton completed Carolina’s first four-point play of the season when he was fouled on a three-pointer from the top of the key to go up 45-30.

The second-half lead never got below nine points – and that was just for a few seconds – and got up to as many 22 points.

A 14-4 Carolina run midway through the second half seemed to expose a tired Northeastern team. “I really liked that Day’Ron (Sharpe) and Walker (Kessler) came off the bench for us and got double figures,” UNC coach Roy Williams said adding that it’s important to get more production from the bench later in the season when guys start getting tired.

What the players have really gotten tired of is having games postponed or canceled. The game against Northeastern came about after Virginia Tech canceled its game at UNC due to COVID. Carolina’s game against Louisville is now in question as the Cardinals are undergoing some COVID issues while next Tuesday’s game against Boston College was canceled because of that program’s COVID issues.

Coach Williams said the Tar Heel players want to play. “They’re tired of listening to me and running sprints and things,” he said.

UNC improves to 13-7 while Northeastern, which is an impressive 8-2 in the CAA, falls to 9-8 overall.

Stay tuned as the Tar Heels continue to look for home games to play.

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

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Heels can’t mask their lack of offense in loss to Cavs

North Carolina, possibly still reeling from revelations of a maskless party, came out listless, getting down 21-4 early and went on to lose to ACC’s top team Virginia 60-48 in Charlottesville. (2/13) It was the Tar Heels fewest points in a game and in a half (18) and the worst shooting (34.5 percent) in a game this season. For the first time in a long time (1966) the Tar Heels failed to have a scorer in double figures. That all resulted in the Cavaliers’ seventh straight victory over Carolina. Virginia hit five three pointers in the first nine minutes of […]

North Carolina, possibly still reeling from revelations of a maskless party, came out listless, getting down 21-4 early and went on to lose to ACC’s top team Virginia 60-48 in Charlottesville. (2/13)

It was the Tar Heels fewest points in a game and in a half (18) and the worst shooting (34.5 percent) in a game this season. For the first time in a long time (1966) the Tar Heels failed to have a scorer in double figures. That all resulted in the Cavaliers’ seventh straight victory over Carolina.

Virginia hit five three pointers in the first nine minutes of the game to streak out to that 21-4 lead. Oddly enough, the Tar Heels outscored the Cavaliers the rest of the way as Virginia shot just 39 percent themselves and relied on the three-point shot to hold the Heels at bay.

The Cavaliers had more three-point baskets (10) than two-point baskets (9) to keep Carolina from getting the margin closer than seven the rest of the way.

“Their defense is always good,” UNC coach Roy Williams said, pointing out half a dozen relatively easy baskets at the start of the game that the Heels missed. “We needed to make some of those early. That would have really helped us.”

Coach Williams added that Virginia’s big guys were tough for the Heels to handle out at the perimeter. That was an understatement as UVA’s Jay Huff, a 7-footer, hit three of five three pointers while Sam Hauser, a 6-foot-8 forward, hit four of six three pointers.

Add that to the fact that Carolina missed all nine of its three-point shots in the first half and only managed two of 16 threes for the game and Coach Williams said that’s going to make for a long night.

The Tar Heels were down by just nine at the half but didn’t really threaten to cut into that lead until midway through the second half when the Heels turned the ball over twice with a chance to cut it to just seven. Instead, the Cavs scored the next four points and it never got closer than nine the rest of the way as Virginia got the lead up to 16 before settling for the 12-point margin.

Virginia, led by Huff’s 18 points and Hauser’s 17 points, improve to 15-3 and 11-1 in the ACC while the Tar Heels, led by Walker Kessler’s nine points, falls to 12-7 and 7-5 in the league.

Carolina’s Tuesday game against Virginia Tech has been postponed due to COVID so the Heels next scheduled game is next Saturday against Louisville.

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

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Tar Heels “Love” taking out Blue Devils

Freshman Caleb Love led six North Carolina players in double figures with a season-high 25 points as the Tar Heels held off Duke 91-87 in another classic rivalry matchup despite no fans in Cameron Indoor Stadium. (2/6) “I was in the zone,” said Love, who hit four of five three pointers. “I knew I had to be a big part of my team.” He said it had been long, up-and-down season for him but that it felt great to make shots. The Tar Heels, coming off their worst scoring output on the season, had their best scoring output in this […]

Freshman Caleb Love led six North Carolina players in double figures with a season-high 25 points as the Tar Heels held off Duke 91-87 in another classic rivalry matchup despite no fans in Cameron Indoor Stadium. (2/6)

“I was in the zone,” said Love, who hit four of five three pointers. “I knew I had to be a big part of my team.” He said it had been long, up-and-down season for him but that it felt great to make shots.

The Tar Heels, coming off their worst scoring output on the season, had their best scoring output in this game as they pumped in 10 of 15 three pointers and finished shooting more than 53 percent from the floor.

Despite woeful production from the free throw line (missing nine), Carolina scored five from the line in the last minute to salt away another close finish.

The Heels had led by 12 with less than 14 minutes to go after another freshman Day’Ron Sharpe hit a spin shot inside to put Carolina up 62-50.

But Duke, shooting more than 60 percent in the second half, cut the margin to two on four different occasions before finally tying it at 77 with 4:41 left in the game on a controversial Matthew Hurt turn around jumper.

What made it controversial was that Hurt went out of bounds and touched the ball without establishing himself in the field of play. Seconds later Hurt fouled out of the game though giving Carolina an even bigger advantage inside.

Love drove inside and scored shooting across his body with 3:43 to go to give Carolina an 81-79 lead. Despite it staying close the rest of the way, Duke never tied it or led again.

Two Armando Bacot free throws and a three from the left wing by Love put UNC in control at 86-79 with 1:50 to go.

But a pair of quick easy buckets for Duke cut the margin to three at 86-83 with 1:09 to go. Love hit a couple of free throws to up the lead to five at 88-83 with 57 seconds left. But once again, Duke got two quick scores – one by Wendell Moore and one by D.J. Steward – to cut the score to 88-87 with 17 seconds to go.

Carolina’s Leaky Black was triple-teamed and fouled on the inbounds, and hit the second of two free throws to put the Heels up 89-87.

Duke’s Moore, the Devils last-second hero last year at Carolina, drove to the hoop but went up to take a shot, found himself under the basket and came down for a travel before he could throw the ball away with eight seconds left.

Black was fouled again on the inbounds and this time hit both free throws to wrap it up at 91-87.

In the first half, Carolina led by 10 at 28-18 after a Kerwin Walton three from the right side. With Love hitting shots outside and Garrison Brooks controlling the game inside, the Heels held a slim 41-39 lead at the half.

An energized Bacot scored eight of his 16 points in the first four minutes of the second half to help the Heels get the lead back up to 10 at 55-45.

In addition to Love and Bacot, the other Tar Heels in double figures were Black (12), Brooks (12), Walton (12) and Sharpe (11).

The Tar Heels, who host Miami Monday, improved to 12-6 overall and 7-4 in the ACC while the Blue Devils fell to 7-7 and 5-5 in the league.

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

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Tar Heels sluggish in loss at Clemson

North Carolina, going a week in between games due to COVID schedule changes, didn’t take the layoff well coming out sluggish, getting behind and never fully recovering in a 63-50 loss in Clemson. (2/2) The Tar Heels cut a 16-point deficit to just four midway through the second half but failed to score on seven possessions over a five-minute period. Meanwhile, the Tigers’ Hunter Tyson got hot and scored all of his 16 points after the Heels cut it to four as Clemson won going away. The previous low scoring output was 66 points this season for the Heels. “When […]

North Carolina, going a week in between games due to COVID schedule changes, didn’t take the layoff well coming out sluggish, getting behind and never fully recovering in a 63-50 loss in Clemson. (2/2)

The Tar Heels cut a 16-point deficit to just four midway through the second half but failed to score on seven possessions over a five-minute period. Meanwhile, the Tigers’ Hunter Tyson got hot and scored all of his 16 points after the Heels cut it to four as Clemson won going away.

The previous low scoring output was 66 points this season for the Heels. “When you turn the ball over 17 times in a low possession game, there’s not going to be much scoring,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “Our big guys were not as active as they needed to be.”

Several of Carolina’s turnovers came on trying to force the ball down to the big men down low – sometimes bad passes and sometimes lack of movement by the bigs.

Armando Bacot, who scored 21 points in the last outing at Pittsburgh a week ago, scored just one point and got 3 rebounds in just 19 minutes of play as he also was saddled with foul trouble.

Freshman big man Day’Ron Sharpe did managed to lead the Tar Heels in scoring with 16 points but he also missed six of 10 free throws and turned the ball over three times.

Carolina, which has had free throw woes, continued that problem hitting only 11 of 21 free throws.

The Tar Heels had been playing better, winning three in a row and six of their last seven games.

“We had two really good practices (coming into the game),” Coach Williams said. “I thought we’d play well. We had made good strides in practice.

“They hit us early but we were still ok,” he added.

He mentioned one sequence after the Heels had cut the Clemson lead to four where the Heels missed two free throws and a dunk on one possession.

Garrison Brooks, who scored eight, had hit a turnaround 10-foot jumper with 12:37 to play to make it 42-38 and the Heels had a chance to cut it to two when R.J. Davis missed a layup, Sharpe missed a layup and Brooks missed a dunk.

The next possession, after Clemson failed to score, Sharpe missed two free throws. Five possessions later UNC’s Leaky Black hit one of two free throws to end the drought but it only brought the Heels within five at 45-40. That’s as close as it got at Tyson took over and Carolina’s turnover, shooting and free throw problems continued.

Clemson improves to 11-5 overall and 5-5 in the ACC while Carolina falls to 11-6 and 6-4 in the conference. The Tar Heels travel to Duke Saturday evening.

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

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UNC’s Drake Maye and Keeshawn Silver Named 247Sports Five-Stars

Two of North Carolina newly enrolled freshmen — quarterback Drake Maye of Chatlotte and defensive lineman Keeshawn Silver of Rocky Mount — have been named 247Sports five-star athletes. Click here for more.

Two of North Carolina newly enrolled freshmen — quarterback Drake Maye of Chatlotte and defensive lineman Keeshawn Silver of Rocky Mount — have been named 247Sports five-star athletes. Click here for more.

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Carolina wins a big one at Pittsburgh, 75-65

North Carolina won its third straight in impressive fashion as Armando Bacot scored 21 and pulled in 10 rebounds to give the visiting Tar Heels a 75-65 win over Pittsburgh. (1/26) The Tar Heels, who shot 62 percent in the second half, went on a 17-6 run over a four-minute period midway through the second half to open up a close game at 66-50. A long three north of the key by freshman Kerwin Walton started the run and a quick-moving Anthony Harris to Garrison Brooks to Bacot dunk ended the run. Pitt, behind player-of-the-year candidate Justin Champagnie, who scored […]

North Carolina won its third straight in impressive fashion as Armando Bacot scored 21 and pulled in 10 rebounds to give the visiting Tar Heels a 75-65 win over Pittsburgh. (1/26)

The Tar Heels, who shot 62 percent in the second half, went on a 17-6 run over a four-minute period midway through the second half to open up a close game at 66-50.

A long three north of the key by freshman Kerwin Walton started the run and a quick-moving Anthony Harris to Garrison Brooks to Bacot dunk ended the run.

Pitt, behind player-of-the-year candidate Justin Champagnie, who scored a game-high 23, responded with a run of its own to narrow the lead to five at 68-63 with under four minutes to go.

But a strong bucket by Bacot inside combined with a Caleb Love three from the right wing all but wrapped it up – especially when the Carolina defense kept Pitt scoreless on four straight possessions late.

“I’m as happy as I can be to get a big win and get out of town,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “We’re getting a little better and a little better.”

Carolina has won six of its last seven games and seem to be clicking better as a team.

Coach Williams said that when the big guys are shooting so well, the Tar Heels need to be getting them the ball more.

“Garrison (Brooks) and Armando (Bacot) were 10 of 15 in the first half,” he said. “I had to keep telling the guys to go down in there to them.” The pair scored on all six of their shots in the second half to go 16 of 21 for the game.

In addition to Bacot’s 21/10 performance, Brooks scored 16 points and hauled in six rebounds. Freshman big man Day’Ron Sharpe added six points and seven rebounds.

“They (Pitt) had a difficult job handling our big guys inside,” Coach Williams said.

Pitt falls to 8-4 and 4-3 in the ACC while Carolina improves to 11-5 and 6-3 in the conference. The Tar Heels, who aren’t scheduled to play for a week (but that could change), have now won as many games as they did all last year when they were 6-14 in the league.

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