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Off the cuff: The Tar Heels could not get any flow to their offense in this strange game.

Surely Virginia Tech's defense had something to do with it but so did four stoppages of play for blood spatters on the court and one for a lost shoe. All five involved Hokie Will Johnston.

Obviously, VT has little depth or the Hokies would have spent some time taking care of Johnston's wounds to the nose and elbow. Had this happened in the early days of the AIDS scare, it would have either made national news or they would have sat him down after the first blood splatter.

There were at least three or four other things that made this a strange game. For one, Virginia Tech coach Buzz Williams seemed to spend as much time on the floor as he did inside the coaches' box. Obviously the coaches' box has become more of a suggestion than a mandate.

Another strange site was watching UNC coach Roy Williams catch a ball as it was going out of bounds. What's so strange about that? Well, if he had gotten out of the way, Marcus Paige very well may have saved the ball.

Finally, a Virginia Tech player pulled the rim down by yanking the net. That was strange enough but it kept the UNC bucket from going in and the refs didn't even flinch. No basket interference even though it obviously was.

In what has become a strange site, Justin Jackson drilled a couple of three pointers including one that broke a 9-9 tie and put the Heels up for good just five minutes into the game.

Tar Heels 68, Virginia Tech 53
UNC uses height to handle Hokies

North Carolina used its height advantage to handle Virginia Tech 68-53 and move to 4-1 in the ACC and 14-4 overall. (1/18)

The Tar Heels out rebounded the Hokies by 27 boards and put in 15 second-chance points to make the difference in the game.

Carolina also held Tech to less than 36 percent from the floor. Still UNC coach Roy Williams wasn't satisfied as the game never really got into a fast-paced flow that he likes plus the Tar Heels turned the ball over 17 times.

He said it was an ugly win and as a result the Tar Heels, who were not scheduled to practice Monday, will practice at 9 p.m.

Carolina players did make some sloppy entry passes, let VT's defense bother them and perhaps took ill-advised long shots considering the height advantage inside.

However, the game never really seemed in doubt. Carolina got out to a quick 7-0 lead and never trailed.

The Tar Heels led by as many as 15 points in the first half at 34-19 before settling for a 34-21 halftime lead.

The lead varied from 11 points to 17 points through much of the second half.

Carolina got it's biggest lead at 54-36 with 6:41 left after a pair of free throws from Justin Jackson, who led the Tar Heels in scoring with 16 points.

Over a two-minute period late, Carolina turned the ball over three out of four possessions and Virginia Tech went on a 10-2 run to cut it to eight points at 61-53 with two minutes left.

But the Tar Heels scored the last seven points of the game to win by 15.

UNC's J.P. Tokoto, who had 10 points and four assists, had a pair of steals that ended in highlight reel dunks. The Tar Heels as a team slammed down eight dunks.

Brice Johnson, who had two alley-oop dunks, finished with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Virginia Tech, led by Adam Smith's 11 points off the bench, fall to 8-9 and 0-4 in the ACC.

The flow of the game was marred by a number of stoppages of play to clean up blood from VT's Will Johnston, who had a bloody nose, a bloody mouth and a bloody elbow.


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