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Off the cuff: Basketball is really a simple game when you get down to it. "We just couldn't get the ball in the basket," Coach Roy Williams said after Carolina lost in the first round of the ACC tournament to Georgia Tech. It's really true. There were three or four easy shots that were missed in the first half. Carolina could have and probably should have been up by 18 at halftime. The shooting got worse in the second half as the Tar Heels failed to convert turnovers into points.

Coach Williams was asked if he could put a finger on what was wrong with the Heels this season. "We turned the ball over way too much and we didn't make shots," he responded. He also mentioned the injuries. Nine Tar Heels missed a total of 34 games this season. But Williams took the blame for the .500 season.

"I just didn't do as good a job as I needed to do," he said. "I couldn't get the right buttons pushed. It's the most inadequate I've felt as a coach." Williams had not only gone to 20 straight NCAA tournaments as a coach with Kansas and UNC but his teams had all won opening round games. That streak ends this season and speculation can now begin about which players will be back for next year's team.

Ga. Tech 62, Tar Heels 58
UNC loses 13-point lead and falls early

North Carolina blew a 13-point first-half lead and possibly blew a chance at post-season play as Georgia Tech defeated the Heels for the third time this season, 62-58, in the first round of the Atlantic Coast Conference tournament in Greensboro. (3/12)

"The bottom line is that we couldn't make a shot," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "It's very frustrating. I've got wonderful kids but it's the kinda year I've never had to go through and I hope I don't have to go through again. But, it is what it is."

The Tar Heels shot just 33 percent from the field, including just two of 16 from beyond the arc. Still, Carolina went on a 21-2 run to take a 28-15 lead with four minutes left in the opening half. A pair of hook shots by Tyler Zeller, who led the Heels with 17 points and 10 rebounds, highlighted the run, along with a several fastbreak layups.

UNC led 34-24 at the half but fell apart in the 1:15 of the second half as Georgia Tech outscored the Heels 7-0. The game went back and forth the rest of the way but Carolina did not get a field goal in the last five minutes of the game and the Yellow Jackets advance to the second round.

With a 16-16 record, there is still a chance that UNC will be invited to play in the NIT. "If somebody's going to invite me to play, I wanna go play," Williams said. "Are we worthy enough to be invited? I don't know."


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