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Off the cuff: Carolina's ACC opener was the best the Tar Heels have played since Gonzaga. While The Zags may be superior to the Pitt, Carolina may have played even better against the Panthers.

The Heels turned the ball over 22 times against Gonzaga but only 11 against Pitt. But the Heels shot better against Gonzaga even though against Pitt the Heels were an impressive 10 of 24 from the three-point line.

Still, it's good to see the Tar Heels play well on the road as the conference season opens.

Coach Williams didn't like the reaching fouls that helped send Pitt to the line 32 times. He said he's been working with them on shuffling their feet instead of reaching out.

Journalists pointed to Kenny Williams foul trouble and the fact that he hit only one of five shots including 0 for 3 from beyond the arc.

"If Kenny Williams is my biggest worry, I'm in pretty good shape," he said.

Coby White led the Heels with 22 points but he had five turnovers.

Carolina still needs to work on rebounding especially since the Heels are going more with a smaller lineup but overall it was a solid win.

Tar Heels 85, Pittsburgh 60
Carolina, Johnson roll over Pitt, 85-60

UNC's Cam Johnson, who transferred a couple of years ago from Pittsburgh, withstood the boos and schooled Pitt by scoring 15 points and hauling in nine rebounds en route to an 85-60 romp in the teams' ACC opener. (1/5)

"I know I got a couple of boos but that's ok," Johnson said. "I understand." He said he loved playing in front of "the zoo" and that there are no hard feelings.

Johnson stroked three triples in the first part of the game as the boos lessened over time, presumably because it wasn't working to rattle him.

"It's good to see the arena lively," Johnson said.

UNC coach Roy Williams he liked his team's poise and composure in light of the fact that the "crowd really did get into it early."

With the score tied in the first half, a 19-2 UNC run over a six-minute period opened the game up. During that run, Johnson and Coby White, who led the Heels with 22 points, hit threes from the top of the key while senior Luke Maye, who scored 17, drilled one from the right corner in front of the Pitt bench.

Carolina took a commanding 45-23 lead into the half after leading by as many as 24 points.

It never got closer than 22 points in the second half as the Heels worked the lead up to 33 with less than five minutes to play before settling for a 25-point win.

The Tar Heels swarming defense bothered the Panthers as they limited the home team to outside shots, the vast majority of which were missed. Pitt shot only 30.5 percent from the field while the Heels shot 43 percent. Pitt was able to get to the foul line quite a bit but only hit 20 of 32.

North Carolina moves to 11-3 and 1-0 in the ACC while Pitt, coached by former Duke player Jeff Capel, falls to 10-4 and 0-1 in the league.

The Tar Heels travel to N.C. State Tuesday at 9 p.m.

Box score

Ref Ted Valentine breaks up the chatter between UNC's Johnson and Pitt's Wilson-Frame. (UNC Sports Information)

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