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Off the cuff: I'm starting to wonder if we'll see an entire Carolina basketball game this year. If it's not a game running late, it's weather break-ins as was the case in this game. I imagine most areas of the state did not have the breaki-ins but those in the WRAL viewing area did. Unless a tornado is spotted or imminent, you'd think it could wait until a stoppage of play. In fact, WRAL started the game with the weatherman talking and then went to a commercial while play was still going on. We basically missed the first couple of minutes of the game.

Not only did the weather force us to have interruptions and constant beeps and weather scrolls running across the bottom, but the local radio station airing the broadcast was knocked off the air several times by bad weather.

I mentioned before how I longed for the C.D. Chesley broadcasts. I thought about it again today as I remembered watching the pre-game senior day ceremonies. I'll never forget Phil Ford, who always seemed to have his emotions in check, crying like a baby at mid-court at Carmichael. We don't get to see those kinds of things anymore. Commercials are more important today I suppose.

Quentin Thomas scored eight points on his senior night. It looked as if he intentionally fouled at the end to get his fifth foul. It did afford him the opportunity of getting a standing ovation. Coach Roy Williams put Surry Wood in at the beginning and he scored twice and then he let Wood in briefly at the end so he could take him back out for an ovation.

At one point in the season, one of Carolina's announcers called the late-game subs "the blue team." But they are not a Blue Team, which was employed by Dean Smith to give the starters a break, change the tempo, or provide a boost. These subs, who were outscored 10-0 in the last minute, may be good practice players, but they are basically, and sadly, just scrubs.

Heels 90, Seminoles 77
Second half shooting surge propels Carolina to win

In an ugly foul-plagued game, UNC sank 22 free throws and got a boost from Ty Lawson in the second half to open up a close game and go on to defeat Florida State 90-77. (3/4)

Lawson, who has still not recovered from the high ankle sprain that kept him out a month, turned it on long enough to open it up after the Seminoles had widdled a 12-point deficit to just six at 59-53 with 11:20 to go.

Will Graves drilled a three from the left corner before Lawson sank a pair of jumpers seconds apart, the second coming when he stopped and popped from 15 feet out on a fast break. An Alex Stepheson free throw completed the 8-0 run and put the Heels up 67-53.

It never got closer than 12 the rest of the way as the Tar Heels got the lead as high as 23 following a dunk by Quentin Thomas, who was playing in his final home game. Surry Wood, a little-used reserve playing in his final game, scored on both of his free goal attempts in the first four minutes of the game.

Carolina actually started slowly as Florida State hit its first three shots to go up 7-0. The Tar Heels took their first lead of the game at 17-16 on a free throw by Deon Thompson with 8:53 left in the first half.

The lead went back and forth until Lawson sank an open three pointer with 4:16 to go in the first half. A pair of threes by Danny Green completed a 16-4 UNC run that put the Heels up 38-28.

Marcus Ginyard had one of his strongest offensive halves of the year as he scored 11 in the first half, including four late in the half to give the Heels a 12-point halftime advantage at 44-32.

There were 46 fouls called in the game and three Tar Heels - Green, Ginyard and Thomas - fouled out late. The two Seminoles covering Tyler Hansbrough - Uche Echefu and Ryan Reid - were in foul trouble much of the second half.

Hansbrough led the Tar Heels with 20 points, 10 coming from the foul line. Ginyard finished with 13 while Green tallied 12 and Lawson got 10. Lawson had to have his hip iced during the game and still hasn't gone at full speed.

Coach Roy Williams said that Lawson is not yet confident enough to take the ball to the basket aggressively against defenders. Nevertheless Lawson's offense was needed as Wayne Ellington had an off game shooting as he was only two of nine with four of his six points coming in the last few minutes of the game.

The Tar Heels shot 70 percent from the floor in the second half to finish at 54 percent.

Florida State, which had won its last three, fell to 17-13 and 6-9 in the league. The Tar Heels move to 28-2 and 13-2 in the ACC and are set up for the final regular season game at Duke. That game could not only determine the regular season champion and first seed in the ACC tournament, but could determine the top seed in the Raleigh/Charlotte NCAA regional.

The last time Duke and Carolina played in the last game when it meant the outright champion of the ACC was 1991 - Duke won that one.

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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