North Carolina, behind a career-high 17 points from James Michael McAdoo, overcame a sluggish start to defeat Vermont 77-58 in the Tar Heels’ first game of the NCAA Tournament.
UNC, which hit just six of its first 27 shots and finished 41 percent from the field, got plenty of good shot opportunities in the first half but the Tar Heels just weren’t hitting them. McAdoo, subbing for injured John Henson, missed four straight good looks in the first half before a one-handed power dunk follow awakened the Greensboro crowd to make it 15-9 midway through the first half.
Carolina shot only 41 percent for the game with birthday boy Reggie Bullock having the worst shooting day as he managed only two of 10 field goals.
The Tar Heels, in dire need of Henson, were actually outrebounded by the shorter, less-talented Vermont Catamounts, 42-37.
But during a couple of game-determining runs, Carolina controlled the boards and got numerous follow baskets. In that regard, the stat is misleading, but if the Tar Heels lose another rebounding battle, they’ll probably lose the NCAA Tournament war.
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