UNC Archive

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Carolina rallies but falls at the buzzer

ASHEVILLE – Over the last few years, North Carolina has lost to Texas by three points or fewer six times. Make that seven. The Tar Heels got down by 14 in the first half and fought back to take a late lead but a step back jumper at the buzzer gave the Longhorns a 69-67 win in the finals of the Maui Invitational Tournament. (12/2) With the score tied at 67 following a pair of free throws by UNC’s Leaky Black, Texas’ Matt Coleman dribbled out the last 25 seconds and hit the jumper over Carolina freshman R.J. Davis for […]

ASHEVILLE – Over the last few years, North Carolina has lost to Texas by three points or fewer six times. Make that seven. The Tar Heels got down by 14 in the first half and fought back to take a late lead but a step back jumper at the buzzer gave the Longhorns a 69-67 win in the finals of the Maui Invitational Tournament. (12/2)

With the score tied at 67 following a pair of free throws by UNC’s Leaky Black, Texas’ Matt Coleman dribbled out the last 25 seconds and hit the jumper over Carolina freshman R.J. Davis for the win.

The Tar Heels, who led 15-10 early, suffered through a 24-5 Texas run in the first half, highlighted by five straight Longhorn three-pointers and a number of missed free throws by the Tar Heels.

Down by 12 at the half, Carolina fought back quickly in the second half and got the deficit down to two or fewer points six times without being able to tie or take a lead. But with 2:34 left, Garrison Brooks sank a 10-footer to give the Heels a 65-63 lead.

The Longhorns’ Andrew Jones tied it with a 20 footer seconds later. Each team failed on their next possessions. After UNC freshman Caleb Love missed a three badly with 50 seconds left, Carolina got the ball out of bounds but with less than a second left on the shot clock.

A lob on the inbounds was tipped away and turned into Jones fastbreak dunk on the other end to put Texas up 67-65. That’s when Black tied it with free throws, setting up Coleman’s heroics.

Carolina missed eight free throws in the first half and six in the second half, including two late, to go just 18 of 32 from the line. Plus, the Tar Heels turned the ball over 13 times, including 11 in the first half when getting so far behind.

“We dug ourselves a big hold by not making free throws and turning the ball over,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “You can’t play from behind like we did to a good team today.”

Love and Davis, Carolina’s freshman guards, turned the ball over seven times. Love failed to get an assist, missed all four of his three-point attempts and hit only two of 13 total shots.

“I looked up one time and we had four freshman on the court,” Coach Williams said, adding that they deserved the playing time based on what they’ve done in practice. “But they’ve got to grow up… they’ve got to grow up quickly.”

Brooks, a senior who led the Tar Heels with 18 points, said the team is working everyday to get better with the younger guys blending with the older. “We’re still one of the best teams in the country when we don’t turn the ball over and we play hard,” he said.

Carolina, 3-1, plays at Iowa Tuesday, Dec. 8 at 7:30 p.m.

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

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Heels survive turnovers to beat Stanford

ASHEVILLE – North Carolina turned the ball over 24 times but made a couple of big plays late to get by Stanford 67-63 to advance to the finals of the Maui Invitational Tournament. (12/1) The Tar Heels clamped down defensively late as Stanford managed to hit just one of its last nine shots. The biggest defensive play of the game proved to be one by UNC freshman Day’Ron Sharpe with the score tied at 60-60. Just after the under four minute official timeout, Sharpe lined up along the baseline to guard the inbounds pass. He timed his jump and tipped […]

ASHEVILLE – North Carolina turned the ball over 24 times but made a couple of big plays late to get by Stanford 67-63 to advance to the finals of the Maui Invitational Tournament. (12/1)

The Tar Heels clamped down defensively late as Stanford managed to hit just one of its last nine shots. The biggest defensive play of the game proved to be one by UNC freshman Day’Ron Sharpe with the score tied at 60-60.

Just after the under four minute official timeout, Sharpe lined up along the baseline to guard the inbounds pass. He timed his jump and tipped the ball to himself. He quickly got it to another freshman, Caleb Love, who weaved and bobbed down the court and stopped and popped in a 12 footer to the left of the lane to give Carolina a 62-60 lead the Heels would never relinquish.

It took a nice offensive play to wrap it up as Leaky Black circled around the key and drove in for a layup on the left side to give Carolina a 66-63 lead with a minute left.

Stanford’s Zaire Williams, a highly recruited freshman, missed a three and Carolina held the ball most of the remainder of the game.

“We muddled around and won the game,” UNC coach Roy Williams said. “We kept trying to make it ugly but at the same time we kept competing.”

Late in the game at crunch time, Carolina had three freshmen on court. Specifically mentioning Sharpe’s tip steal, Coach Williams said “the game was decided on one or two plays.”

Stanford scored 22 points off Carolina’s 24 turnovers but Coach Williams said some of that was offset by Carolina’s 20-rebound advantage. “We wanted to rebound to get qualty shots,” he said, “and we did get good shots and more shots but we turned it over and it about cost us a game.”

The Tar Heels led by as many as six points in the first half but found themselves trailing by four, 33-29, at the half. Carolina didn’t take the lead again until Armando Bacot pulled down an offensive rebound amongst three defenders, went up, scored and was fouled. The three-point play but the Heels up 42-41 with 16:22.

The game went back and forth until that shot by Love that put the Heels up for good late. Love led five Carolina scorers in double figures with 16 points but he hit only 33 percent of his shots. R.J. Davis tallied 11 points while the other starters – Brooks, Black and Bacot – each scored 10.

Carolina, 3-0, will play Texas in the finals of the Maui Invitational at 4 p.m. Wednesday.

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

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Carolina starts slow but gasses it to win

ASHEVILLE – North Carolina missed its first eight shots and trailed 13-0 early but the Tar Heels got in rhythm to rush past UNLV and went on to win going away, 78-51 in the relocated Maui Classic. (11/30) UNC coach Roy Williams, who per normal didn’t call a timeout early, benched the starting five after the slow start. “I didn’t mind the score,” Williams said of the early deficit. “I didn’t like the way we were playing.” Sitting the starters serves as motivation, he said, but he was impressed that the players kept playing and didn’t panic. Senior Andrew Platek […]

ASHEVILLE – North Carolina missed its first eight shots and trailed 13-0 early but the Tar Heels got in rhythm to rush past UNLV and went on to win going away, 78-51 in the relocated Maui Classic. (11/30)

UNC coach Roy Williams, who per normal didn’t call a timeout early, benched the starting five after the slow start. “I didn’t mind the score,” Williams said of the early deficit. “I didn’t like the way we were playing.”

Sitting the starters serves as motivation, he said, but he was impressed that the players kept playing and didn’t panic.

Senior Andrew Platek said that the players did panic for a second during the Runnin’ Rebels run. “But we knew if we stick to our principles, we’d be alright. Once we got going, we kept the foot on the gas,” he said.

A Platek three from the corner and a runner off the glass helped propel the Heels to a 19-6 run that allowed Carolina to catch up at 19-19.

UNC freshman R.J. Davis, who led the Heels with 16 points, drove the baseline to give Carolina the lead at 29-27 with 3:21 left in the first half. That basket started a 23-4 run – at the end of the first half and start of the second – which put the Heels up handily at 50-31.

UNLV, led by Bryce Hamilton’s 15 points, never threatened again and Carolina worked the lead up to as much as 33 points with five minutes left.

“I hope and think we learned a lot from tonight,” Coach Williams said. “You can’t spot people 13 and thihnk you’re going to come back and win.”

Armando Bacot was one of four Tar Heels in double figures as he scored 12 but he also was bothered by the slow start. “We struggled early to get back on defense and we were missing shots,” he said.

Platek, who scored 11 points, suggested that the Carolina big men wore down the smaller Rebels. “This year we can rotate really big guys in and out,” he said. “They just couldn’t get anything inside.”

Senior big man Garrison Brooks scored 14 points, pulled in seven rebounds and picked up three steals. This season when Brooks or Bacot come out, freshmen big guys Day’Ron Sharpe and Walker Kessler can step in.

Carolina, 2-0, will play Stanford or Alabama in the second round of the Maui Invitational at 4 p.m. Tuesday.

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

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2020-21 UNC Season Preview: Personnel turnover won’t hurt Heels

For the second time in two years the UNC basketball team has eight new players, most who will contribute significant minutes. We all know that didn’t work out too well last year as Coach Roy Williams suffered through his first losing season. Could that happen again during the 2020-2021 season? Anything could happen but Carolina will be a much better team this year. Gone are one-and-done Cole Anthony, who had an up-and-down season, graduating senior Brandon Robinson, who missed nine games a year ago, sophomore Jeremiah Francis, who transferred out of the program, senior Brandon Huffman, who transferred, and one-year […]

For the second time in two years the UNC basketball team has eight new players, most who will contribute significant minutes. We all know that didn’t work out too well last year as Coach Roy Williams suffered through his first losing season. Could that happen again during the 2020-2021 season? Anything could happen but Carolina will be a much better team this year.

Gone are one-and-done Cole Anthony, who had an up-and-down season, graduating senior Brandon Robinson, who missed nine games a year ago, sophomore Jeremiah Francis, who transferred out of the program, senior Brandon Huffman, who transferred, and one-year incoming transfers Christian Keeling and Justin Pierce, who had flashes of brilliance but generally underachieved.

Carolina had the talent a year ago to have a really good season but injuries, a lack of cohesiveness, inconsistent play and pure bad luck in close games derailed the Heels.

What makes Carolina better this season than last season? For one the Tar Heels didn’t lose as much senior leadership. A year ago, Luke Maye, Cam Johnson and Kenny Williams had all graduated. Secondly, losing Coby White and Nassir Little was a bigger blow than losing Anthony after freshman seasons.

Finally, the few with significant playing time who are back have loads of experience, starting with senior big man Garrison Brooks, who has been chosen as the preseason ACC player of the year. He averaged nearly 17 points a game and 8.5 rebounds per contest as he earned second-team All-ACC.

Joining him down low is sophomore Armando Bacot, who started 32 games as a freshman, scoring 9.6 points per game and hauling in 8 rebounds a game. But his playing time is likely going to diminish this year as highly regarded freshmen Day’Ron Sharpe (6-foot-11) and Walker Kessler (7-1) join the program.

Coach Roy Williams said he isn’t sure who will start regularly but Sharpe and Bacot will likely both get starts during the first couple of months of the season. Kessler, who was slowed by COVID-19 protocols, is a little behind the others due to lack of practice but he has extraordinary skills inside and outside for a seven-footer.

Coach Williams may play three big men at the same time on occasion but it’s likely that two of those four will be on floor together most of the time. In part, that will depend on the play of junior wingman Leaky Black, who led the team with 40 steals a year ago but shot poorly, and the development of sharpshooter freshman Puff Johnson, the brother of former Tar Heel Cam Johnson.

Finally – and some may say I’m burying the lede – the Tar Heels will have a new backcourt that very well may determine how far the team goes this season. Caleb Love, a McDonald’s All-America player, takes the place of Anthony, who was drafted in the first round of the NBA draft. Love seems to play more under control than Anthony did and could very well be another one-and-done player.

The other likely starting guard is another McDonald’s All-America player, R.J. Davis, who Coach Williams indicates has been more than solid in practice. Giving some stability and leadership at the guard position is senior Andrew Platek, who can settle things down and play feisty defense. His outside shooting reputation hasn’t come to fruition yet but he has one last year to shine.

That’s nine players sharing time and that doesn’t include a pair of wing players – sophomore Anthony Harris and freshman Kerwin Walton – who could have an impact by mid-season. Harris, who was injured twice last season, had knee surgery in January and will be eased in slowly while Walton, who is known as a good shooter, will see more and more time as he improves on defense.

The Tar Heels have been picked fourth in the ACC. While that seems reasonable, I have Carolina finishing third with a good shot at making the ACC Tournament finals and getting a nice seeding in the NCAA tournament.

While I have received accolades for my final record predictions over the years, after last season’s debacle where the Tar Heels had 11 more loses than I predicted, I am a little gun shy. But, in keeping with tradition, I’ll give it another go.

Who knows if the response to the pandemic will allow a full season, but I’m predicting a 27-9 campaign with the Tar Heels falling in the ACC Tournament final and playing well in the NCAA Tournament before losing out in a Great Eight game.

While that may not satisfy some Carolina fans, it should considering the down season a year ago. This will be an up season. For more on the Tar Heels, including game stories, please go to cb3media.com/heelprints.

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Tar Heels recover to win strange opener

With no fans and all the COVID-19 protocols, it didn’t look like a season opener at the Smith Center but with so many new faces it would have looked strange anyway. North Carolina, with eight new players, recovered from a lull in the second half to break open a close game, 79-60 over the College of Charleston. (11/25) Coming off his first losing season as a coach, the Tar Heels’ Roy Williams started two freshmen in the backcourt – Caleb Love, who led Carolina scoring with 17 points, and R.J. Davis, who added 11. The Tar Heels squandered a 14-point […]

With no fans and all the COVID-19 protocols, it didn’t look like a season opener at the Smith Center but with so many new faces it would have looked strange anyway. North Carolina, with eight new players, recovered from a lull in the second half to break open a close game, 79-60 over the College of Charleston. (11/25)

Coming off his first losing season as a coach, the Tar Heels’ Roy Williams started two freshmen in the backcourt – Caleb Love, who led Carolina scoring with 17 points, and R.J. Davis, who added 11.

The Tar Heels squandered a 14-point lead as Charleston’s Dontavius King drained a three to give the visitors a 43-42 lead with just under 15 minutes left in the game. But Davis made his biggest impact of the game seconds later with a drive to the hoop where he drew a foul. After his free throw, the Heels led 45-43 and they never trailed again.

The three-point play started a 17-0 run with 12 of the points coming from UNC freshmen including six from big guy Day’Ron Sharpe.

After getting up 59-43, the Heels never looked back pushing the lead up to as many as 21 points at 72-51 with 4:30 remaining.

Coach Williams said the 17-0 stretch was fueled mostly by aggressive defensive play. The Tar Heels mixed in some full-court pressure that bothered Charleston. UNC senior Andrew Platek, who shot poorly, was a gnat on defense forcing turnovers and coming up with steals.

While senior Garrison Brooks earned preseason ACC player of the year projections, he managed only three field goals while turning the ball over four times. He did have a team-high 11 rebounds but two other big men made a bigger overall impact. Sharpe, the 6-foot-10 265-pound freshman, had 13 points and 10 rebounds while Armando Bacot, a sophomore, scored 12 points and hauled down eight rebounds.

The larger Tar Heels had an advantage over the guard-heavy Charleston team and it came into play early as Carolina ran up a 16-2 lead as Charleston missed its first 11 shots of the game.

But the Heels couldn’t pull away as the team shooting was off – only managing 39.4 percent from the floor. Charleston got back in it by getting hot late in the first half and early in the second before the Tar Heels opened it up with that 17-0 run.

Charleston was led by Brevin Galloway’s 15 points.

Coach Williams said he expects his club to shoot much better as the year goes on, adding that this inexperienced team needed exhibition games and scrimmages, which weren’t allowed this season due to the coronavirus.

“This is going to be a better shooting team than we were last year,” Coach Williams said. “We didn’t show it tonight.”

Carolina, 1-0, will play UNLV Monday in the opening round of the Maui Invitational, which was relocated from Hawaii to Asheville, Coach Williams’ hometown.

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

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Rocky Mount’s Silver, UNC football signee, says he’ll play basketball too

Class of 2021 defensive lineman Keeshawn Silver posted on social media that he “will be playing both sports” at North Carolina, a reference to lining up for UNC football and also suiting up for Tar Heel basketball. Click here for more.

Class of 2021 defensive lineman Keeshawn Silver posted on social media that he “will be playing both sports” at North Carolina, a reference to lining up for UNC football and also suiting up for Tar Heel basketball.
Click here for more.

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Heels click in first round rout of Hokies

North Carolina dominated Virginia Tech in the second half to win going away, 78-56, in a revenge game that keeps the season alive in the ACC Tournament. The Tar Heels, a program low 14th seed in the tournament, started a journey that they hope will erase an injury-filled season filled with last-second, inprobable losses. UNC still need to win four more to take the title and earn an NCAA birth. But on this day, the Tar Heels could celebrate avenging a tough loss to Virginia Tech in February. Carolina was without Brandon Robinson in that game and the Heels blew […]

North Carolina dominated Virginia Tech in the second half to win going away, 78-56, in a revenge game that keeps the season alive in the ACC Tournament.

The Tar Heels, a program low 14th seed in the tournament, started a journey that they hope will erase an injury-filled season filled with last-second, inprobable losses. UNC still need to win four more to take the title and earn an NCAA birth.

But on this day, the Tar Heels could celebrate avenging a tough loss to Virginia Tech in February. Carolina was without Brandon Robinson in that game and the Heels blew a 12-point second-half lead to lose in overtime.

Robinson, who had just been in an auto accident the first time the two teams played, wasn’t about to let the Tar Heels blow a lead this time.

Carolina was up by an identical 12 points with under nine minutes to play. Instead of faltering, the Heels reeled off 13 straight points to blow the game open at 68-43, the team’s largest advantage of the game.

During that run, Robinson hit three of his five three pointers on the night. The first came after a fake and dribble between his legs got the defender out of the picture. His second three was from the left corner and his last three came from the right sideline.

Robinson finished with 17 points. “I didn’t want today to be the last day I put on this jersey,” the senior said.

Garrison Brooks led the way with 20 points, hitting five of six shots in the second half. UNC coach Roy Williams said the Heels were trying to get the ball down low to Brooks and he did a good job of kicking it back out to Robinson if he couldn’t score.

UNC opened up a 10-point lead in the first half but Virginia Tech stayed in it by hitting six three pointers before halftime.

The Heels, up 32-26 at the half, clicked better as a team, shooting 55 percent and only turning the ball over twice after the break.

Carolina started the second half on a 7-0 run that set the tone for the second half. A highlight-reel baseline move and floater by Cole Anthony who was fouled on the play put the Heels up 39-26 and the Heels never looked back. The lead never got under 10 the rest of the way.

The Tar Heels, now 14-18 overall, play Syracuse in the second round of the ACC Tournament Wednesday night.

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

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ACC men’s basketball tournament bracket is set

The ACC tournament’s return to the Greensboro Coliseum will include a trio of firsts. For the first time: ▪ Florida State is the No. 1 seed in the ACC tournament. ▪ Either Duke or North Carolina is not one of the top three seeds in the ACC tournament. For more, click here.

The ACC tournament’s return to the Greensboro Coliseum will include a trio of firsts.

For the first time:

▪ Florida State is the No. 1 seed in the ACC tournament.

▪ Either Duke or North Carolina is not one of the top three seeds in the ACC tournament.

For more, click here.

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Students and fans celebrate after the Duke-Carolina game

Duke fans and students celebrating after win over UNC

Students and fans were celebrating after Duke beat North Carolina in their annual ACC basketball rivalry. …read more

Source:: WRAL

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Eight-Run Seventh Inning Guides UNC Over UNCG, 12-5

CHAPEL HILL- Highlighted by an eight-run seventh inning, North Carolina cruised past UNCG 12-5 at Boshamer Stadium. The Tar Heels jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead after scoring in the first and second innings. North Carolina tacked on two more in the fifth frame before UNCG pulled within one run at 4-3 in the top of the seventh. North Carolina proved opportunistic in the seventh inning, capitalizing on a pair of UNCG errors en route to putting up eight runs. Angel Zarate collected a pair of hits and two RBI in the inning while Dylan Harris doubled to plate […]

CHAPEL HILL- Highlighted by an eight-run seventh inning, North Carolina cruised past UNCG 12-5 at Boshamer Stadium.

The Tar Heels jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead after scoring in the first and second innings. North Carolina tacked on two more in the fifth frame before UNCG pulled within one run at 4-3 in the top of the seventh.

North Carolina proved opportunistic in the seventh inning, capitalizing on a pair of UNCG errors en route to putting up eight runs. Angel Zarate collected a pair of hits and two RBI in the inning while Dylan Harris doubled to plate two runs. Tyler Causey and Clemente Inclan showed off their vision in the inning as well, as each drew a bases-loaded walk.

The Spartans would not go away in the game, as they plated two in the eighth inning.

Zarate ended with a career-high four hits and two RBI, while Harris collected three RBI and a pair of hits.

Nik Pry came in relief after Max Alba tossed 3.1 innings and struck out the first two batters he faced.

“I thought we were pretty lethargic to start the game,” said UNC head coach Mike Fox. “We could have busted the game open right away, but we didn’t, and so our pitching took over. I thought that the guys we brought out of the bullpen did a nice job.”

The Tar Heels are back tomorrow at Boshamer Stadium for a game against VCU. First pitch is set for 3 p.m.