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Off the cuff: I believe there's only one more UNC game on ESPNU this season and it can't come soon enough in my book. Everything is inferior on ESPNU including the reception itself. Did you know there isn't even closed captioning available for those games?

Thank goodness for another Nichols, who plays for Wofford. He scored with two seconds left to lift Wofford over Purdue to break a tie and allow Carolina fans to watch the beginning of the Nicholls State game.

I was hoping that after the long time away from the Smith Center, they'd forget about that annoying "Jump Around" song they play before the jump ball. After seeing Coach Williams smiling and bobbing his head to the music, I guess it's not going anywhere anytime soon.

Pet peeves continue. Coach Williams walked all the way over to past the middle of the scorer's table to shake hands with the opposing coach with 10 seconds left in the game. The camera followed Williams instead of the end of the game. The integrity of the game dictates that you should play the game until the final buzzer. Plus, this type of action simply moves the college game closer to the NBA game, which is not a good thing.

The other pet peeve: we got two more"air ball" calls from the legendary announcer Woody Durham including one by UNC's Bobby Frasor. Remember, this is a Duke chant which started after a UNC missed shot in 1979. Can't we come up with something different? Anyone who knows Woody well, put a bug is his ear. After you do that, tell him to stop the air ball call.

Hey, anyone who listened to Woody against Rutgers, let me know if he called "air ball" when a Rutgers player missed the rim. You can reach me at cb3media@gmail.com for that or to give me your opinion on anything related to Carolina basketball.

Heels 88, Colonels 78
Carolina just OK as Nicholls St. drills three pointers

The Tar Heels didn't shoot free throws well, didn't defend very well but still survived an onslaught of three-pointers by Nicholls State to defeat the Colonels 88-78. (12/19)

The No. 1 Tar Heels move to 10-0, while Nicholls St., a 91-53 loser to Alabama earlier in the year, falls to 4-8.

UNC coach Roy Williams was extremely disappointed in the Tar Heels, going to the extreme of implying that practice would be so tough on Thursday that he wants to see how many players he can make throw up. It wasn't that bad an effort, at least offensively, as the Tar Heels shot nearly 50 percent. But the Colonels made more points from three-point land than anywhere else as they hit 14 of 28 three-pointers.

Nicholls St., out of Louisiana, has five Australians on their roster and play much like the international game. Carolina evidently doesn't play well against that style but it took six straight three pointers by the Colonels and a poor foul shooting effort by the Tar Heels (29-39) to make the final score respectable.

Tyler Hansbrough, even though he was sometimes surrounded by four players, wound up with 27 points and 11 rebounds to lead the way. He got fired up on a couple of occasions after buckets as he apparently felt he was getting hacked inside.

A couple of Hansbrough free throws after being fouled midway through the second half actually gave the Heels a 21-point lead, their largest of the game, at 68-47. A couple of three pointers by the Colonels and a steal and free throws sliced the lead to 79-67 with five minutes to play. It didn't get closer than that until the final 10-point tally.

Wayne Ellington finished with 20 points while Marcus Ginyard scored in double figures for the first time this year with 12 points and Ty Lawson added 12.

The game started with four straight three-point shots by the Colonels, three from the same spot in the corner, as Nicholls St. got out to a 12-6 lead early. The Tar Heels took the lead for the first time since 2-0 on a Quentin Thomas steal and lay in to make it 16-15.

The Tar Heels worked the lead to five but the Colonels' fifth three of the half tied it at 26-26. A 6-0 Carolina run and a highlight reel steal and fast break from Ellington to Lawson to Ginyard for a dunk gave the Tar Heels their first double-digit lead of the game at 41-31.

UNC led 48-37 at the break and seemingly had the game under control early in the second half as the Heels scored the first seven points of the second half to open it up at 55-37. The six straight three pointers and a couple of backdoor plays, combined with poor free throw shooting, made the final score respectable for Nicholls St.

Gil Verner, who had three steals, stroked four of five three-point shots and scored 16 points for Nicholls St. while teammate Ryan Bathie had 17 points on four of 10 three-pointers and eight assists.

Hansbrough became the 25th Tar Heels' player to surpass 1,500 career points.

Check out the game box score and take a look at coach and player quotes.
Check out the other game articles.
Read my Tar Heels' season preview on WRAL.com by clicking here.

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