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Off the cuff: Regarding the UNC basketball game against Rutgers, I never liked the idea of college basketball on Sunday night. In fact, I won't watch a Sunday night game unless it involves the Tar Heels. I'd rather watch a movie or a documentary or something. By Sunday night, I'm ready to wind down from sports in preparation for the coming week. Some people even go to bed earlier on Sunday nights. But if the ACC is going to sign a contract that a game is to be aired on Sunday night then by golly it should be shown in its entirety.

More than a quarter of the UNC game was not shown in great part due to the Virginia-Georgia Tech game going into overtime. It also didn't help that Georgia Tech called a timeout with less than two seconds to go and down by four. That didn't make sense and only delayed the start of the Carolina game. (Yes, everything revolves around UNC.)

Even after the first game ended, instead of switching immediately to the UNC game, Fox Sports aired four commercials. That's in addition to the commercials they got to air when the Yellow Jackets called that unexpected timeout at the end of overtime. I don't understand why the start of the UNC game could not have been delayed until 8 p.m. The 7:45 start time is weird anyway and there are always late arrivers. If the purpose of being on Sunday night is to be seen nationally, then players and coaches and fans at the game can wait 15 minutes.

Instead, we missed nearly 11 minutes of the game on TV and 53 points on the scoreboard as the score was 32-21 when Fox picked up the game. (Hansbrough was already in double figures.) Then, instead of showing us highlights of what we missed, we were subjected to even more promotion ads that had to be squeezed in – for instance, sponsored scrolls, sponsored flashbacks, sponsored game summaries and sponsored replays (couldn't the replays have at least been plays we didn't see the first time because of missing a quarter of the game?).

I yearn for the C.D. Chesley days when there was a pre-game show about the actual game we were going to watch rather than other games going on throughout the country. Plus the entire game was aired from beginning to end… and there was a post-game show – again, about the actual game. Fox Sports needs to allow for more time between games or either to only air one game on Sunday night. It's a shame, especially if UNC goes on to win the national championship, that there will be 11 minutes that no one will have on DVD for posterity.

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Heels 97, Scarlet Knights 75
Carolina rapidly runs Rutgers ragged

Up just four points with eight minutes to go in the first half, North Carolina went on a 14-4 run to go up by 14 and the Tar Heels never looked back in a 97-75 victory over Rutgers in Chapel Hill. (12/28)

Danny Green started the run with a three-point shot and a dunk on a feed from Wayne Ellington but Ty Lawson was the highlight as he sank a very deep three and then flipped up an off-balanced, falling-down layup as he was fouled on a fastbreak.

Late in the half, a short jumper by Lawson capped a 6-0 run to give the Heels their biggest lead of the first half at 52-34.

Ahead by 14 at the half, the Tar Heels quickly extended the margin to 19 at 63-44 to start the second half. Rutgers managed to get it down to 12 at 69-57 after a three-pointer by Mike Rosario midway through the second half. But two quick UNC baskets, the second of which was a fastbreak layup by Lawson on a nice pass from Marcus Ginyard, who was playing in his first game of the season, stopped the mini-run and the game never got closer.

A Green three in transition followed by a Green dunk after an Ellington steal gave the Heels an 87-67 lead, which was the largest lead of the game at the time. The final score was the largest lead.

Tyler Hansbrough led the Heels in scoring with 26 points, plus he had 10 rebounds. Lawson finished with 19, Green got 18 and Deon Thompson added 10. UNC's depth seemed to run down the Scarlet Knights, 9-4, as the game wore on.

That depth got deeper as Ginyard, who was injured in practice prior to the season, came in the game with 6:03 left in the first half. He scored three points, picked off two steals, hauled in four rebounds and dished out a couple of assists in 11 minutes of play.

"It was fun to have him out there," Coach Roy Williams said. "With all those little things he does well, it's good to see him." Williams said Ginyard is at about 80 percent and he will work him into the rotation slowly and start a new substitution pattern.

Ginyard said he felt great and that it was exciting to get back out there with his teammates but that he got a little winded.

Carolina, now 12-0, plays at Nevada on New Year's Eve at 10 p.m. for no apparent reason. The writeup on Heel Prints will not be available until New Year's night - a midnight dance with my wife, watching the Rose Bowl parade with my son and cooking a traditional Southern New Year's day meal takes precedence. Happy New Year.



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