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Off the cuff: Well, it looks like another year of struggling to sync Woody up with the TV picture. If you watch on cable you probably have a better shot unless you do as I do and wait for the radio broadcast to fall behind the satellite TV signal and then sync it up using Tivo. More on this later.

The floor at the new Charlotte Coliseum where the Bobcats play is rather ugly and suited more for the NBA than college.

ESPN continues to promo upcoming games while missing some of the game. Once the Tar Heels took the ball all the way down the court and were at the top of the key with the ball before they decided to show us the game. In addition, most TV broadcasts think that we'd rather see the back of a jersey of a player who just scored than the actual action on the court. I yearn for the days of C.D. Chesley. Just show us the damn game.

Heels 72, Wildcats 68
Thank goodness for depth and opponents' shooting
Foul trouble and foul play by the “heir apparents” to Brandan Wright made for a close game with Davidson. But poor shooting by the Wildcats and a gritty, if not always pretty, defensive effort by the Tar Heels led to a 72-68 victory in Charlotte Wednesday night (11/14/07).

UNC big men Deon Thompson and Alex Stepheson “didn't play worth a darn” as Coach Roy Williams said after the game. Plus Ty Lawson and Tyler Hansbrough, both All-America candidates, got in foul trouble. In fact, Lawson didn't score until the second half and Hansbrough didn't score much in the second half.

But Carolina's experienced depth showed as Bobby Frasor played 19 solid minutes in place of Lawson and Danny Green, really playing out of position, filled in for the ineffective Thompson and Stepheson.

While Marcus Ginyard, who had to have three stitches in his chin after the game, played some strong defense, the only starter who played consistent basketball was Wayne Ellington who led the Tar Heels in scoring with 20 points. After watching Ellington struggle in the two exhibition games, I was pleasantly surprised, especially with his outside shot. We all know he can shoot but he needs to be consistent.

In the first half, the Heels trailed by as much as seven and led by as much as seven with a halftime score of 38-31. Instead of the Heels running away with it however Davidson, which had missed several open shots in the first half, got hot and scored eight straight to take a 39-38 lead. After that, defense really kept the Heels in the game as they went the first eight minutes of the second half with only one field goal. That brought back memories of the Tar Heels missing 22 of their final 23 shots against Georgetown in last year's final game.

Green, who made a few bone-head fouls and eventually fouled out, scored six straight midway through the second half to take UNC from a four-point deficit at 50-46 to a two-point lead at 52-50. Still the game was tied at 61-all at the last TV timeout under four minutes.

A driving lay-in by Lawson, who scored all eight of his points late in the game, and a smooth jumper by Ellington with a minute to go highlighted the last portion of the game. Timely free throws down the stretch, even though the Tar Heels sank only 20 of 28, sealed the Wildcats' fate.

Davidson is a good team, better than Santa Clara was when the Tar Heels lost to them to begin the 2004-2005 NCAA championship season. There is a lot to work on but the Tar Heels were tested and came out a winner. As Coach Williams said after the game, “the first game is never going to be perfect.”

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

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