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Off the cuff: So much for home court advantage. After N.C. State went up by six, its largest margin of the game, the fans were going wild. Carolina proceeded to go on a 9-0 run to take a 34-31 halftime lead. Marcus Ginyard said the Tar Heels seized on the energy. Ginyard had one of his better games of the year and it might have been due to State's Gonzalez who was being physical and mouthing off a bit. He asked the players at the half if they were as mad at State as he was.

This lends credence to my belief that you should just play cleanly and shut up if you are a player and, if you are a fan, you should just cheer for your team and not say crude things or hold up classless signs like the one I saw that read "Go to Hell Carolina." There's not much worse you can tell a person here in the Bible Belt. I know, Carolina fans include a similar line replacing "rah, rah, rah" in the fight song. Still, I see a difference in tradition and a crass sign.

You would think Hansbrough would have an off game at some point but as long as he's healthy, I don't think his game lends itself to off games like jump shooters have. Still you would think his bio-rhythms would be off or something. I think Danny Green's bio-rhythms were off this game. Luckily Q had a very nice game and is gaining great confidence - which will be a luxury once Ty Lawson is back.

Heels 84, Wolfpack 70
UNC breaks open close game; Hansbrough scores 32

NC broke open a tight game with a 16-2 run early in the second half to blow out N.C. State 84-70 in Raleigh. (2/20)

Once again it was Mr. Consistency - Tyler Hansbrough - won led the way as he scored 32 points, hauled in 12 rebounds and came up with five steals. Hansbrough scored 12 points in the first six minutes and 12 seconds of the second half including a steal and subsequent dunk which made it 56-38.

The Wolfpack never got closer than 14 the rest of the way.

N.C. State actually led for most of the first half after a back-and-forth first five minutes. But the Tar Heels outscored the Wolfpack 9-0 over the last five minutes to take a 34-31 lead at the break. Wayne Ellington drilled a three from the left side with four seconds left to give Carolina the three-point margin, which was the Tar Heels biggest lead of the half.

Gavin Grant, who scored 12 in the first half, led the Pack to a six-point margin at 31-25 before Carolina went on that 9-0 run. Coach Roy Williams said his team played with poise during that stretch as the crowd was hoppin' loud when the Pack got up by six.

Hansbrough was active in the first half driving to the basket and manuevering around the hoop for 14 points and seven rebounds.

Grant finished with 17 points while Hickson scored 13 and Fells tallied 10. Ellington hit three of four three-point attempts and finished with 21 points for Carolina. Marcus Ginyard had a good game, attacking the basket for 13 points including three dunks.

Ty Lawson sat out again and Deon Thompson, who sat out most of the second half, was again hindered by a bad knee. Quentin Thomas took up the slack for Lawson as he scored 10 points, dished out seven assists and committed only two turnovers.

The Tar Heels shot 60 percent in the second half and 53 percent for the game while the Pack shot 49 percent.

The Tar Heels move to 25-2 and 10-2 in the ACC while N.C. State falls to 15-11 and 4-8 in the conference. The Pack, picked to finish third in the league, probably has to win out in the league or win the ACC tournament in order to get to the NCAA tournament.

Since Duke lost recently to Wake Forest, Carolina is in a position to earn a share of the regular season title by winning out in its last four games at home against Wake and Florida State and at Boston College and Duke.

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Take a look at other game articles.
Read my Tar Heels' season preview on WRAL.com by clicking here.

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