By Adam Lucas
1. Intense hard good win for Carolina in 80-69 win over NC State.
2. I certainly hope for the best for Terquavion Smith who retired with what appeared to be a very painful injury after a clumsy fall following a foul by Leaky Black.
3. What a day for Armando Bacot, who set two school records. He now holds the career record for double-double, eclipsing a mark held by Billy Cunningham for the past 60 years. The ACC and NCAA record, in case you’re curious, is Tim Duncan at 87. He also set the school’s all-time rebound record and was honored after the game in the presence of former record holder Tyler Hansbrough. Bacot finished with 23 points and 18 rebounds.
4. It was such a stretch for RJ Davis. On his way to 16 first-half points, he launched a long three-pointer with the shot clock running down in the first half and finished with 24 in just eight shots. He went 12-12 from the free throw line.
5. Carolina was helped by the return on Saturday of Jalen Washington, who missed the Boston College game with an ankle injury. But the staff continues to be a revolving door as Puff Johnson missed the game with a sore knee. The Tar Heels had their full roster available for exactly one Atlantic Coast Conference game this season, with absences in various games from Armando Bacot (VT and UVA), D’Marco Dunn (VT and GT), Pete Nance (Wake, Notre-Dame). , UVA and Louisville) and Washington (Boston College). Of course, Will Shaver will also be out for a long time with a foot injury.
6. The Tar Heels didn’t get the production from the bank they needed. Four different reserves saw action in the first half, going 0-to-6 off the field with zero rebounds, one assist and two turnovers. Even when Dunn played longer minutes because the officiating side ejected Black, the bench still only managed a point and had no rebound.
7. Carolina needs the more committed version of Caleb Love than what they got in the first half. Love’s only entries in the boxing score were his shots, where he went 1-for-5. Other than that, he had zero entries in the boxing score — no assists, no rebounds, no personal fouls, and no fouls drawn.
7. In one of the very few games you’ll see this season with two really big boys trying the paint, Carolina was at a significant disadvantage defensively, as Bacot had two fouls and 3:49 in the first eliminated at halftime. DJ Burns immediately posted Jalen Washington and met him. The Tar Heels then traded Pete Nance to Burns and attempted to double him up, but the Wolfpack found Casey Morsell twice in a row with good ball movement for open threes. That order helped keep things tight at half-time as the Tar Heels were a point clear at the break (but lost just two points behind their lead after Bacot left the game).
8. That was quiet a very well trained game by Hubert Davis. Several very small pieces were important. For example, when State’s Burns were eliminated by four fouls early in the second half, Davis immediately brought on Jalen Washington for Bacot just to give the Tar Heel big man some rest, even though it wasn’t his normal time to make a substitution. Davis also set up a brilliant inbounds game late in the game with 0.6 seconds on the shot clock, but Caleb Love failed to convert the dunk (fitting as the 1993 team was present as shades of the 93 heels were played against Cincinnati this Game).
9. Carolina finished the game with just five assists on 20 field goals, a tally that has been declining lately. The heels came on with assists in just 39.2% of the baskets in their last three games. The Heels did most of their offensive work on the free throw line, where they recorded a brilliant 36-39. Love was 9-for-10 and Bacot hit 7-for-7.
10. Carolina is now 36-5 in their last 41 games against State and an incredible 53-12 against the Pack for the last 30+ seasons.
11. Carolina’s 1993 state champions were honored at halftime. Virtually all members of the roster not involved in college basketball (a group that includes Derrick Phelps, Brian Reese and Scott Cherry) were on hand. George Lynch voiced the in-arena video before the game, which gave a salute to both the 1993 team and this year’s roster. Other postmen present were Mitch Kupchak, Buzz Peterson and Tyler Hansbrough.