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Off the cuff: Did anyone else get turned off by the constantly angry face Diebler made? A lot has been expected of him and he has not looked good until this game. Maybe he is angry.

Twice already this season Woody Durham has said that an opponent shot "an air ball." Please don't use that term people. For those of us over about 35, it reminds us of Rich Yonakor's key miss against Duke in a slow-down game at Cameron in 1979. That was the advent of the annoying "air ball" chant by the Cameron Crazies. Please Woody or UNC students, come up with something else. Why would Carolina want to emulate Dukies anyway?

I didn't really understand some of the booing by Ohio State fans. But we have to understand that they are more knowledgeable about football.

I despise how teams run out the clock now. With 10 seconds to go, Roy Williams is walking in front of the scorer's table to shake hands with the opposing coach, players are congratulatiing each other, Danny Green is bouncing the ball in an unnatural way and the Buckeyes are walking off the court. Play the game until the buzzer.

Freshman 7-footer Kosta Koufos, the Buckeyes leading scorer on the season, missed his first nine field goal attempts and ended up just one of 10.

Heels 66, Buckeyes 55
UNC's defense sparks a 26-8 run in the second half

The Tar Heels held Ohio State without a bucket for more than 11 minutes in the second half to wipe out a four-point deficit and pull away for a 66-55 win in Columbus, Ohio. (11/28)

Trailing 35-31 early in the second half, the Heels hit the accelerator and went on a 26-8 run to open up a 57-43 lead. Highlighted plays during the run included a Marcus Ginyard fast break bucket for a three-point play and a jump hook by Deon Thompson which gave the Heels their first double-digit lead of the game.

Ohio State, which had won 27 in a row at home, went on an 8-0 run with about five minutes to go. After a UNC timeout, Danny Green penetrated the lane and fed Thompson for an open dunk. After the four-minute mark TV timeout, Wayne Ellington all but put the game out of reach with a long three-pointer over the defender's hands as the shot clock was running down.

Ellington led the Tar Heels with a career-high 23 points while Thompson tied a career high with 14 points. Big man Tyler Hansbrough got a double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds but it was not one of his best games as he hit only six of 19 field goals and one of four free throws.

Carolina, playing without their spark plug in guard Ty Lawson, trailed at the half for the first time this year, 32-29, as freshman John Diebler hit a fall-away three pointer off the backboard. It was his fourth triple of the first half. Ohio State only shot 31 percent in the half but many of their shots came from three-point land.

For their part, the Heels shot only 32 percent in the first half and the loss of Lawson showed as replacement Bobby Frasor, who started two years ago before Lawson's arrival in Chapel Hill, didn't penetrate for scoring opportunities and couldn't hit open three pointers. In the first half, Frasor missed four from behind the arc and then twice passed up open three-point shots.

Coach Roy Williams said while Frasor failed to score in the game, he did play good defense and had a good assist-to-turnover ratio. The Tar Heels held the Buckeyes to just 27 percent shooting and ended up shooting 44 percent themselves.

The Heels led 4-3 at the first TV timeout as turnovers and fouls marred the opening minutes. Carolina led 13-9 at the second TV timeout following a three-pointer by Danny Green and driving short jumper by Marcus Ginyard.

Carolina extended the lead to five at 18-13 on a dunk by Deon Thompson. That set up Diebler's heroics as the freshman came into the game and drilled a pair of threes to put the Buckeyes up 23-21. The Tar Heels went on a 6-0 run, highlighted by a rebound dunk by Hansbrough. But Diebler pushed in two more threes to put the Buckeyes back up at the break.

Diebler, who shot five of 14 three pointers, led the Buckeyes with 19 points. More than half of the baskets scored by the Buckeyes were threes. They lived by it and died by it I guess. The Tar Heels were only five of 18 from the three-point arc and hit just seven of 14 free throws.

Carolina outrebounded the Buckeyes 58-42. It was defense that made the difference but the Heels need Lawson back as soon as possible to pump up the offense. Lawson, who rolled his ankle in Las Vegas, is expected to play at Kentucky Saturday.

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

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