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Off the cuff: UNC coach Roy Williams said his team was outplayed for 36 minutes but Justin Jackson said the Tar Heels put their foot down over the last four minutes.

It really was a close game throughout with six ties and eight lead changes. But the 21-3 run at the end should go down as one of the best comebacks since Williams has been coach.

Kansas State had scored on six straight possessions including a three triples before the Tar Heels locked down on defense and was more aggressive on offense.

For TV viewers it was another frustrating game as the game started on another of ESPN's stations and switched back to ESPN2 after the first TV timeout, due to an overtime game.

ESPN really should do better planning. They could have put the other game from the Hall of Fame Classic on ESPN2 so that there would be no chance of a game running long.

When people are out and recording the game, their DVR doesn't know that the first few minutes are going to be on another station. Plus, less tech savvy and older people don't get the switching. They sit there and watch an overtime game they care nothing about waiting for the Tar Heels to come on.

Then, at the end of the game, they immediately switch to some program talking about Johnny Manziel's drinking problem. Before ESPN, viewers would have been able to hear interviews with the players and would have been able to see the all-tournament presentation.

You'd think with more channels, you'd be able to see those kinds of things but ESPN, which should be called ADHD, can't stay focused on one thing for very long. They seem to believe that we all care about all sports and that as soon as something is over, you've got to go to something else.

I'd prefer for ESPN to allow the ACC Network to air any game it wants so that the local folks can actually see a game from start to finish with commentary about that game before and after it.


Tar Heels 80, Kansas State 70
UNC executes classic comeback win

North Carolina rallied from eight down in the last four minutes to win going away at 80-70 over Kansas State in the finals of the Hall of Fame Classic. (11/24)

Trailing 67-59 with just over four minutes left, the Tar Heels turned up the pressure on defense and aggressiveness on offense and outscored Kansas State 21-3. A Joel Berry three with three minutes to go put the Heels within a basket at 68-66 before Justin Jackson, the tournament's most valuable player, tied it with a floater crossing through the lane.

A Kennedy Meeks steal near midcourt resulted in a dunk to give Carolina the lead at 70-68 with 2:01 left. Kansas State freshman Kamau Stokes, who led his team in scoring with 24 points, lost the ball out of bounds and the Tar Heels took advantage with a big three by Joel Pinson that put the Heels up 73-68 with 1:21 to go.

The Tar Heels got the ball back when it went out simultaneously for a jumpball, arrow to Carolina. UNC hit four of five free throws down the stretch and Nate Britt took advantage of a Brice Johnson block to go in for a layup with 10 seconds left for the final tally.

"It was a weird game," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "They outplayed us for 36 minutes but we were still around."

Coach Williams said the team works a lot in practice on coming back from six down with three minutes to go. At the 3:28 TV timeout, with the Heels still down five, he told his team that they had a chance.

Jackson, on the way out onto the court after the timeout, told his teammates that they had gone over this multiple times in practice and that it was time to do this together as a team. "When we get stops, we can play with anybody," Jackson said.

Coach Williams said Berry's three pointer after the timeout was big. "Joel had stunk it up but I thought it was time for him to make one," said Williams, who called a play for the three attempt. "That shot gave us a big lift."

Berry had missed all four previous three-point atterampts and had turned the ball over three times.

Jackson led the way for the second night in a row with 22 points while Meeks finished with 15. Pinson added 11 while Johnson was the fourth Tar Heel in double figures with 10.

The Tar Heels shot 55 percent in the second half to finish the game at 46.8. They outrebounded Kansas State 44-30 and hit 16 of 20 free throws.

Carolina, now 5-1, takes a Thanksgiving break and plays at home against Maryland next Tuesday.


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