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Off the cuff: Yes, I know that most current Carolina players never heard Woody Durham call a Tar Heel basketball game but they had to feel the emotion from their fans and coaches. Winning the ACC tourney game on the same day that the iconic UNC radio announcer was fitting as many older Carolina fans couldn't help but think about all the great radio calls they heard from Woody over the years.

There was no need to go where you go and do what you do in this one as the Tar Heels worked a lead up to 21 points before settling for the 19-point victory.

Luke Maye, who grew up a Carolina fan in North Carolina, and his father Mark Maye, who played football for Carolina, remember fondly listening to Woody. Luke, who won the top award for academics among ACC basketball players, said it was a special moment to just be in the house as Woody Durham was remembered. In addition to the Woody shirts and the moment of silence in his honor, Woody Durham won the Bob Bradley Award with his son, Wes, who called the game for the ACC TV Network, accepting the honor.

The attention now shifts to getting revenge on Miami that ruined Theo Pinson's and Joel Berry's Senior Night. A win in that one would propel the Tar Heels to the semi-finals. Winning four games in four games is difficult, which was made necessary by virtue of the Miami loss that kept the Heels from getting the double bye. But don't count Carolina out. Four wins would be UN-BE-LEE-VABLE!!!

Tar Heels 78, Syracuse 59
UNC, with heavy hearts, wears out SU

The UNC players wore "Woody" on the back of their warmups and then went and wore out Syracuse 78-59 in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament in Brooklyn, New York. (3/7)

On a day that Tar Heel Nation was mourning the loss of former legendary play-by-play radio announcer Woody Durham, Carolina took care of Syracuse in a game that UNC coach Roy Williams said might have been the team's best effort of the year.

"Defensively, it was one of our best games of the year if not the best," Coach Williams said despite Syracuse hitting five of its first six three-point shots.

The Orange stayed in the game with seven three pointers in the first half - this one day after going only four of 17 from the three-point line in the entire game against Wake Forest. Still, Carolina was in control of the game at the half, 39-29.

The Tar Heels upped the margin to 15 early in the second half on a three-pointer by Joel Berry and then to 18 on a three by Kenny Williams from the right corner that made it 51-33.

A brisk-moving fastbreak where four Tar Heels touched the ball on the way up the court ended with a Cam Johnson layup that gave Carolina its biggest margin of the game at 56-35. But then the Tar Heels hit a lull.

Carolina went without a basket for more than six minutes as Syracuse cut into the deficit getting within nine points with just over four minutes to play.

But the Tar Heels ended the game on a 12-2 run where they completed a number of long passes that ended in fastbreak baskets.

Williams, who was the recipient of three long passes for buckets in last six minutes, led four Tar Heels in double figures with 17 points to go along with three steals. Senior Theo Pinson scored 16 points and hauled in 11 rebounds while Johnson and Luke Maye added 13 points each.

"In the second half we did a better job guarding the three," Coach Williams said, noting that while Syracuse was 7 of 13 from three in the first half, the Orange was just one of 10 in the second. "Or maybe they were tired."

Offensively, Carolina was able to do enough to penetrate the Syracuse zone or get the ball up court before Syracuse could set up the defense.

The Tar Heels, now 23-9 overall, play Miami, the team that just ruined Carolina's Senior Night, in the ACC Tournament's quarterfinals Thursday at 9 p.m. Syracuse, 20-11, have to wait and hope they did enough to make it to the NCAA Tournament.

Box Score

Kenny Williams on the fastbreak.
(UNC Sports Information Photo by JD Lyon)

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