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Off the cuff: The turnover problem continues, and will continue as long as Lawson can't go. The Heels had 17 turnovers. Hopefully Lawson will be able to go Saturday but I'd vote for leaving him out one more game if there is any doubt at all. Virginia Tech is good but playing them at home should give the Heels an edge, with or without Lawson. But they can't afford to get in foul trouble again. Q got three fouls early. If Ginyard's injury had kept him out, the Heels would have been down to a fifth string point guard - if there is such a thing. The pecking order at the start of the season was Lawson, Bobby Frasor, Q and Ginyard in a pinch.

I'm so glad that UNC didn't allow advertising to take over like Virginia did. They have big, obnoxious ads for Wachovia permanently on the floor and they have almost constantly rotating ads on the scorer's table. Big Mac anyone?

Coach Roy Williams called a reporter "honey" and quickly asked her not to be offended that he was just "an old frickin' Southern man." It did sound strange to call a reporter "honey" but it's a shame that we have gotten to the politically correct point that character and individuality can't be displayed without a quick apology.

The Tar Heels have won four games by four points or less - and that doesn't include two overtime victories.

The team has recently watched inspirational movies including Hoosiers and Rocky 3. To help instill toughness, they also watched back-to-back John Wayne and Clint Eastwood movies.

Did you notice how the Virginia students were also acting like Dukies - the air ball chats, the synchronized jumping up and down, everybody wearing the same thing etc.? Seems everybody follows Duke's lead. Imitation is flattery I guess.Too bad students can't come up with something new and too bad students can't just be loud and supportive. Everything today has to be choreographed it seems.

Heels 75, Cavaliers 74
Beat-up, foul-plagued Carolina hangs on for win

Riddled with injuries and with key players in foul trouble, North Carolina still managed to hang on for a 75-74 victory at Virginia. (2/12)

The Tar Heels held a seven-point lead at the half and was up by nine with just over 12 minutes to play. But All-ACC player Sean Singletary kept Virginia in it and when Jamil Tucker popped in a three from the corner with 3:20 left to draw the Cavs within three at 71-68, a wild finish was in store.

For a minute it looked as if Wayne Ellington might play the goat as he badly missed a three and then had the ball stolen from him. But neither time could the Cavs score. Then Ellington played the role of hero with a nice move and bucket inside to make it 73-68 with 1:36 to go.

Following a Cavs timeout, Baker swished a three with 52 seconds left to draw Virginia to within two at 73-71.

Carolina worked the shot clock down and got it down low to Tyler Hansbrough who pushed in a half hook from the right baseline to give the Heels a 75-71 lead with just 21 seconds left.

But Singletary, who scored , wasn't through as he drilled a three with eight seconds left. The Heels got the ball in quickly and played keep away for five seconds before Ellington was fouled with 2.9 left. Ellington missed the foul shot but Danny Green and Marcus Ginyard tapped the ball until time expired.

Ginyard, who was a game-time decision after injuring an ankle against Clemson, gave Carolina its biggest lead of the game at 22-9 in the first half. His 35 minutes of action was key as Quentin Thomas, subbing for Ty Lawson, was out much of the game in foul trouble.

Virginia came from behind to take a 31-30 lead with just over two minutes to go in the first half. But the Tar Heels went on an 8-0 run, highlighted by an Ellington three and a Hansbrough jumper with three seconds left, to take a 38-31 advantage.

The Heels kept a fairly comfortable seven-to-nine point lead for the first portion of the second half but Virginia went on an 8-2 run to draw to 60-59. Ginyard sank a three with 6:38 to put Carolina up 63-59.

Ginyard scored seven points and had six rebounds and three assists as he was able to play with an ankle sprain and turf toe. With Thompson limping after banging his knee during the game, and Ginyard hobbled, and Thomas and Green in foul trouble (each ended up with four each), and the Heels only two days removed from a tough double overtime victory, Carolina looked ripe for an upset.

But the Tar Heels were able to hold Virginia to 38 percent shooting, were able to make key defensive stops and were able to get it to Hansbrough down low when they needed to. Hansbrough finished with 23 points with none more important than the two he scored with 21 seconds left as the shot clock was running down.

Ellington added 19 points and Thompson scored 12, mostly on short turnaround jumpers. The Tar Heels move to 23-2 and 8-2 in the ACC while Virginia falls below .500 at 11-12 and 1-9 in the league.

Carolina has a few days to try to get Lawson, Ginyard and Thompson well since the next game is at home Saturday against Virginia Tech.

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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