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Off the cuff: Evidently ACC play brings out the best in the best players. Harrison Barnes, Tyler Zeller and John Henson, Carolina's big three, were the big three in the ACC opener, combining for 59 points, 21 rebounds, five blocked shots and five steals.

That being said, the bench, which has given a big boost to the Tar Heels this season, didn't play very well. The big three subs - Reggie Bullock, PJ Hairston and James M. McAdoo - shot just four of 17 field goals, scoring just 11 points while turning the ball over four times.

BC coach Steve Donahue said he sees a big improvement in the big guys for Carolina. "They are a lot better basketball team than they were last year," Donahue said. "They are playing with a purpose and the three big guys (Barnes, Teller and Henson) have gotten better."

Tar Heels 83, Boston College 60
Experienced Heels win 1st league game

An experienced North Carolina team, behind 25 points from Harrison Barnes, started its ACC basketball schedule with an 83-60 victory at home over an inexperienced Boston College team. (1/7) Click here for a photo gallery.

Boston College, starting five freshmen, began strong against the Heels, trailing just 15-14 but the Tar Heels went on a 12-0 run to take a 27-14 lead and was never really threatened again.

Barnes started the run with a three-pointer and capped off the run with a dunk and a reverse layup to put the Heels up by 13.

UNC led 40-27 at the half and worked the margin up to 21. But BC cut the margin down to nine by midway through the half. UNC coach Roy Williams said he jumped on his team pretty hard at that point mostly upset at concentration lapses on defense.

The Tar Heels weathered that storm. With six minutes to go Tyler Zeller hit a pair of three throws to up the lead to 65-52, the halftime margin. A Kendall Marshall to John Henson fast break bucket made it 67-52 and the Eagles called timeout with 5:24 left.

Carolina simply continued to pour it on. Barnes banged in a three from the left corner with just over four minutes to go to make it 72-55 and the outcome if ever in doubt no long was.

Four straight points by Barnes, including a dunk, gave the Tar Heels an 81-58 lead. A dunk by James Michael McAdoo gave the Tar Heels their largest lead of 25 at 83-58 with 42 seconds left.

Zeller finished with 20 points while Henson added 14. Marshall had 11 assists.

The game was sloppy at times at BC turned the ball over 20 times while UNC turned it over 11 times.

“We’ve got to play a whole game, especially in the league,” Williams said. “We’ve got to get a heck of a lot better as we go on… But we were good at times.”

The Tar Heels, now 14-2, host Miami Tuesday at 9 p.m.


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