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Off the cuff: It's really too bad the final score at Louisville wasn't reflective of Carolina's dominance like the score in Chapel Hill was indicative of Louisville's dominance.

The only reason it wasn't was a two-minute span where Louisville's Dwayne Sutton hit a trio of three pointers, the first two from the same spot. Only one was really contested.

For old-timers, it goes to show how much the game has changed since the three-point shot was incorporated. Teams are never really out of it if someone can get hot.

Carolina was not hot from beyond the arc (just six of 24) but managed to control the boards, getting 18 second-chance points compared to just 3 for the Cardinals.

Louisvlle had zero offensive rebounds in the first half and seven for the game, compared to 18 for Carolina. The Heels outrebounded the Cardinals 49-32.

The Tar Heels took care of the ball too with just two turnovers in the second half and 10 for the game.

Brandon Huffman, who played just four minutes but was a beast defensively, said the Tar Heels fought better defensively than they did the last time the two teams played. And they did it on the road.

"We're extremely poised," Huffman said. "When we play like we can, we can win anywhere."

It was a hostile environment as Louisville fans took part in a white out while taking on a knock-out theme in honor of favorite son Muhammad Ali.

But it was Carolina that floated like a butterfly and stung like a bee.

Tar Heels 79, Louisville 69
Heels avenge loss in impressive fashion

North Carolina was totally outplayed in every category when Louisville came to Chapel Hill in January but at Louisville in February the Tar Heels turned the tables. Carolina dominated by even more than the 79-69 final score. (2/2)

The biggest difference may have been on the boards as the Heels, who were outrebounded by 10 the last time, outrebounded the Cardinals by 17 this time, 49-32.

UNC coach Roy Williams said his club showed greater effort, great execution and greater concentration this time around. "I've got competitive guys who got their tails beaten about as bad as they could have been beaten - we were slapped in the face in our own place," he said of Carolina's 83-62 loss Jan. 12. "It's been a good run for us but we got beat so bad by Louisville that stuck with me a long time."

Both teams came out tough but runs of 12-2 and 18-4 put the Heels in control 42-23 late in the first half.

Seldom-used big man Brandon Huffman, getting more playing time with Sterling Manley and Leaky Black out with injuries, capped the 12-2 run when he muscled in for a bucket after making a defensive stop at the other end.

Cam Johnson, who scored 19 points and hauled in 10 rebounds, sank a couple of threes during the 18-4 run, which ended on a fastbreak dunk by Coby White.

Carolina, which led by 16 at the half, managed to stay up by 12 to 18 points most of the second half. But Louisville's Dwayne Sutton banged in three threes in less than two minutes to cut the lead to nine midway through the way.

A driving layup by White followed by a top-of-the-key three by Kenny Williams pushed Carolina's lead back up to a more comfortable 14 points.

An 8-0 Louisville run late in the game kept the final score respectable but the outcome was never really in doubt.

Joining Johnson in double figures for the Tar Heels were Luke Maye, who had 20 points and 11 rebounds, Garrison Brooks, who had 12, and Williams, who added 10.

North Carolina moves to 17-4 and tied for first in the ACC at 7-1 in the league. Louisville, led by Sutton's 19 points, falls to 16-6 overall and 7-2 in the conference.

The Tar Heels host rival N.C. State Tuesday night.

Box score

UNC's Garrison Brooks had a big game inside with 12 points. (UNC Sports Information photo.)

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