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Off the cuff: Still not fond of all the FSN graphics and replays (in fact one Carolina basket was missed while we watched a Clemson dunk replay). But at least we didn't miss the beginning of the game (although the start time was delayed) and we got one of the better announcing teams in Tim Brando and Mike Gminski. I know, he's a Dukie but I would have been proud for him to have been a Heel.

This was the first overtime win for a Carolina team since March of 2000 - hard to believe. The last time a Clemson team beat Carolina when it was the No. 1 team was February of 2001.

Lack of depth showed. With Bobby Frasor gone, Alex Stepheson taking care of family issues and Quentin Thomas still not 100 percent, the Heels got a bit winded at times. It was a frantic pace by both teams and only bad foul shooting and poor shot selection by the Tigers kept them under 100 points. Family certainly comes first but the Heels need Stepheson back. Coach Williams even went to a zone on, I think, three occasions in part because of the depth problem and in part because of some foul trouble.

The Clemson cheerleaders aren't hittin' on much this year but then again I'm married and too old for them anyway. But it would be nice to have some eye candy. I know, I know, cheerleaders aren't about that anymore. Dang it. Maybe the camera person just doesn't have a sense of talent.

Clemson's Terrence Oglesby seems to be a bit of a ball hog or at least a shot hog. And he took bad shots at that, going one of 10 for the game and one of seven from the three-point arc.

The Tigers are really good. I can't remember right now where I picked them to finish in the standings at media day but whatever it was, it was too low. They are quick, aggressive, physical, determined, confident and they can't hit free throws worth a lick as they were 14 of 27.

The Tar Heels play Clemson again on Feb. 10 in Chapel Hill. Again it's a Sunday night FSN game.

Heels 90, Tigers 88 (OT)
Ellington has career game; big three-pointer wins it

Wayne Ellington, for the first time since the loss to Georgetown, had a chance to be the hero at the end of a game. This time he drilled a three-pointer with less than a second to go in overtime to lead the Tar Heels to a 90-88 win in their ACC opener at Clemson. (1/6)

Elliington scored a career-high 36 points on a 5-for-8 three-point and a 9-for-9 free throw effort. His triple at the end was the first bucket for Carolina in overtime. Their other six points came from the free throw line.

That's where Clemson, last in the ACC in free throw percentage, had trouble as they missed a baker's dozen free throw attempts. Ironically, a pair of swished free throws by freshman guard Demontez Stitt with less than 14 seconds in overtime put the Tigers up 88-87.

At that point, UNC guard Ty Lawson seemed to have trouble penetrating the Clemson defense and UNC Coach Roy Williams called the Heels' final timeout with 5.4 seconds to go. Lawson was then able to get the ball to Ellington who swished the game-winning three-pointer from the left side.

Clemson threw the ball out of bounds with 0.4 of a second left and the game was over.

The Tar Heels trailed at the half for only the second time this season (the other vs. Ohio State) at 41-38. UNC actually held a 38-35 lead with less than a minute to go in the half but some sloppy play by the Heels and aggressive defense by the Tigers led to a 6-0 run in less than half a minute.

Coach Williams blamed turnovers for the Heels first-half woes. Clemson ended up scoring 27 of their points off Carolina turnovers while the Heels only scored six off Tiger miscues.

A Ty Lawson driving lay-in gave Carolina a 44-43 lead early in the second half but after a quick 5-0 Clemson run the Heels never led again until overtime.

Down seven at 81-74 with two and a half minutes to play, Carolina finished with a 7-0 run to send the game io overtime. Ellington hit a three with 2:25 left and Danny Green hesitated but still popped in an open three with 1:37 to go to draw the Heels within one at 81-80.

Tyler Hansbrough, who was kept in check most of the night as the Heels had a hard time getting the ball down low to him, was fouled in the last minute but managed only the second of two free throws to tie it at 81-all.

Clemson had a shot and two tips at the end of regulation but couldn't score.

A pair of free throws by Ellington with 3:53 to go in overtime gave the Heels their first lead since 44-43 at 83-82. A pair of buckets by Clemson including a runner in the lane by David Potter with 1:30 to go gave the Tigers an 86-83 advantage.

Four straight free throws by Ellington and Lawson put the Heels up 87-86 with :49 left. The Stitt free throws put Clemson up 88-87 before Ellington's heroics.

The win pushed the No. 1 Tar Heels to 15-0 and 1-0 in the ACC while No. 19 Clemson dropped to 12-2 and 0-1.

Lawson scored 16 points and had eight assists while Hansbrough, though dogged all night long by Clemson defenders, especially Trevor Booker, had another double-double with 12 points and 14 rebounds.

K.C. Rivers led Clemson with 24 points while Booker, who fouled out in overtime, tallied 14 points and 11 rebounds.

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

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