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Off the cuff: That was certainly an uninspiring effort at home against Louisville. Fans may have left earlier than they've ever left a game at the Smith Center.

Other years, when the Tar Heels are down, there is hope for a patented Carolina Comeback. This game never felt like a comeback was imminent.

The Heels had nothing going for them. ESPN even switched away with more than two minutes left to do their previews before the start of the Duke game. The network directed people to ESPNews as if everyone has ESPNews. Pathetic TV and pathetic play by the Heels.

UNC coach Roy Williams was certainly correct that his team hasn't shown the ability to win ugly. "You have to find a way to win when the shots aren't going in."

The shots certainly weren't going in for the Tar Heels but they were for the Cardinals. Not sure there are a lot of ways to win in that circumstance.

Carolina big man Sterling Manley, who has been out injured, would have come in handy against the big inside guys for the Cardinals.

But there was probably nothing that was going to change the outcome of that game. A home loss like that against an inferior team is the kind of game you look back on at the end of the regular season and wish you'd have had the necessary enthusiasm to win it.

Louisville 83, Tar Heels 62
UNC embarrassed at home by Louisville

North Carolina seemed discombobulated from the beginning as Louisville hit its first seven shots to roll to a big lead and eventually a 83-62 win in Chapel Hill. (1/12)

The Tar Heels were in trouble by the first TV timeout - down by double digits at 18-8 and with their star freshman point guard out of the game with two early fouls.

Still down by nine at the half, 43-34, Carolina turned the ball over nine times in the first eight minutes of the second half to thwart any chance to come back. Midway through the second half, UNC trailed by 18 at 63-45. The lead got as high as 22.

"They hit us early," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "We never really got in the game."

Coach Williams said the poor effort followed two days of mediocre practices. "We had two nice road wins and then we come back home and don't have the same kind of enthusiasm," he said.

The Tar Heels hit just over a third of their shots while the Cardinals hit more than 50 percent. Carolina managed just three of 22 from beyond the three-point line while Louisville hit 11 of 26 threes, including six of the Cardinals' first nine when running out to a lead.

Carolina was also outrebounded 36-26. "They have long, athletic guys," Coach Williams said. "But I didn't think they'd dominate everything inside like that."

The 21-point loss was the worst home loss by a Roy Williams-coached Carolina team and the third worst defeat by UNC in the Smith Center.

Kenny Williams (12) and Cam Johnson (10) were the only Tar Heels in double figures. Luke Maye, who was a dismal three of 14 from the field, led the Heels in rebounding with 11.

Steven Enoch and Dwayne Sutton led four Cardinals in double figures with 17 points each.

North Carolina falls to 12-4 and 2-1 in the ACC while Louisville, coming off a disappointing loss at home to Pitt, moves to 11-5 overall and 2-1 in the league.

The Tar Heels host Notre Dame Tuesday night.

Box score

UNC's Cam Johnson gets his hand on the ball. (UNC Sports Information)

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