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Off the cuff: At first glance it appeared that Ty Lawson didn't make much of an impact in his first game back. After all, he only scored four points on a one for five effort from the field in 21 minutes. But, he did dish out a team-high five assists and he helped slow down Tyrese Rice in the second half. Quentin Thomas played 19 minutes, scored two points, had three turnovers and had no luck against Rice in the first half.

Remember the old Ronnie Dyson song "One Man Band?" It goes, " Oh! A one man band plays all alone. He plays to a song of his own. Yes, he does, yes, he does, Yes, he does." Rice, who was annoyingly cocky during his inhuman shooting run in the first half, was a one man band. Those teams rarely win in the end. In fact, I wrote the lede paragraph to the right at the half - I just filled in the score at the end of the game. I was confident that the Heels would beat the one man band team of Boston College.

It was amusing that ABC broke into the indoor football game to show Wayne Ellington warming up but chose to show five commercials instead of the start of the Carolina basketball game. The so-called football game ran long, in part, because one team called a timeout with six seconds to go, down by 10 points. Idiocy. It was also amusing that the little-watched football game got some pre-game discussion whereas the Carolina basketball game was picked up with BC up 13-2, three minutes into the game. I long for the days of C.D. Chesley when Thacker and Packer previewed the game, we saw the teams introduced and we heard the singing of the national anthem.

John Oates got a technical for hanging on the rim after dunking in the first minute of the game. The resulting free throws were the only points the Heels got in the first four minutes. Oates picked up two fouls during those first four minutes and, after that, he saw about as much time as Daryl Hall. Speaking of Hall & Oates, so much has been made about Rice - and it was a spectacular effort - that I just have to sing, "Everybody's high on consolation." Hey, it's a team game.


Heels 90, Golden Eagles 80
Defense spurs UNC's comeback over BC, Tyrese Rice

UNC came back from an 18-point deficit and survived a career day by Boston College's Tyrese Rice to defeat the Golden Eagles 90-80 and remain in first place in the ACC. (3/1)

Down 61-44, the Tar Heels went on an 18-0 run to go up 62-61 for their first lead of the game with 11:15 remaining. Three three-pointers by Danny Green highlighted the comeback.

"I felt if we could get it to 10 by the 10-minute mark we'd be in the game but we got it done a lot quicker than that," Coach Roy Williams said.

The lead went back and forth until Carolina got some breathing room following three-pointers by Wayne Ellington and Green to make it 76-69 with 6:36 left.

It was an amazing comeback for the ages as Carolina led by as much as 12 late in the game after trailing by 18 early in the second half at 58-40. Pressure defense in the second half, following a wholesale subtitution by Coach Roy Williams, spurred the surge.

The way the game started, one wondered if there would be any comeback. Tyrese Rice almost outscored the Tar Heels by himself in the first half. In fact, Rice surpassed his career-high in the first half alone as he drilled eight three-point shots (in nine attempts) and converted an old-fashioned three-point play on the way to 34 first-half points.

The Tar Heels were coming from behind almost the entire game after Rice set the tone with four triples in a row in the first three minutes of the game to give the Eagles a 16-2 lead.

Carolina cut the deficit to eight before Rice drained a pair of three pointers 20 seconds apart to put the margin back up to 14 at 24-10. The lead got as large as 18 at 42-24 with 4:40 left in the half.

The Heels got it down to 10 at 46-36 after Quentin Thomas fed Tyler Hansbrough inside for a bucket and a foul, which led to a made free throw. Yet another Rice three-pointer put Boston College up 50-36 and the Eagles kept a 14-point lead at the break, 54-40.

Two quick second-half buckets by Rice to open the second half prompted the wholesale subtitution which started the 18-0 run. While Green's threes got the Heels going on offense, it was the defense that turned it around. During the stretch, Hansbrough drew a charge, Ellington came up with a steal and a subsequent bucket, and Marcus Ginyard clamped down on Rice's three-point attempts. Ty Lawson, playing in his first game in a month following an ankle injury, helped out defensively against Rice in the second half.

Rice still finished with a Boston College record 46 points but no three-pointers in the second half after Ginyard and Lawson took over guarding him from Thomas. Hansbrough led the Heels with 25 points and nine points. Ellington, who went seven of eight in the second half, scored 20 points and had three steals while Green tallied 18 and hauled in seven rebounds.

The Tar Heels shot 51 percent for the game after shooting only 39 percent in the first half. UNC was 17 of 17 from the free-throw line in the first half to keep the Heels in it.

The Tar Heels advance to 27-2 and 12-2 in the ACC while Boston College fell to 13-14 and 4-10 in the league.

Check out the game box score and a game photo gallery.
Take a look at other game articles.
Read my Tar Heels' season preview on WRAL.com by clicking here.

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