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It's tough to win four games in four days but even if the Tar Heels had won the second seed in ACC tournament, they probably would have lost this game to Virginia.

Carolina has a hard time playing the style of game that Virginia plays. And it's nearly impossible to force this Cavalier team to play UNC's up-tempo style.

The Cavs didn't give up 70 points in a game all year. But it was their timely offense that kept the Heels at bay.

Luke Maye carried the Tar Heels in the first half with 15 points as the Heels lost the first half by four points, 34-30. Even though he scored just five points in the second half, the Heels lost the second half by four points as well.

The Tar Heels won't play a team as talented and deliberate as the Cavs in the NCAA Tournament. It's hard to know how Carolina will do but with a No. 2 seed, which is likely, the Heels should go far.

"My team's getting better," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "We've got some bigger goals in front of us."

Old school fans would probably just as soon win the ACC Tournament as the NCAA Tournament - almost. It would be interesting to see these two teams play again in the NCAA Tourney.

It was a strange site in Brooklyn as Virginia had many, many more fans there than the Tar Heels did. Not sure what that means or why that is unless it's just that Virginia is excited to be No. 1 in the nation.

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Archives

Click here to go to the football page.
Click here to keep up with the 2008 run to the World Series.

Carolina Football: Golden anniversary of a redeeming 50-0 victory over Duke.

Carolina Football: Excerpts from an article on the history of the Carolina-Duke rivalry.

 

Tar Heels 84, Lipscomb 66
Carolina rights ship, wins going away
Underdog Lipscomb led No. 2 seed North Carolina by six in the first half before the Tar Heels settled down and wore down the No. 15 seed winning going away 84-66 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament in Charlotte. (3/16)

"We needed to get our feet wet," UNC's Theo Pinson said. "When we got going, we got going."

Carolina used a stifling defense and some timely three-point shooting to go on a pair of first-half runs to right the ship. A 13-2 run, highlighted by three pointers from Luke Maye and Kenny Williams took the Tar Heels from six down to five ahead.

After falling behind again, the Tar Heels went on a 12-1 run over the last 3:44 of the first half to take command at 43-34.

A long three pointer by Cam Johnson to start the second half put Carolina up double digits and Lipscomb never threatened again.

Johnson said the Tar Heels let Lipscomb stay in the game with some turnovers, 11 in the first half and 18 over all. "It's a 40-minute game, not a five-minute game," he said. "Things started turning our way."

Pinson was the sparkplug as he dished out a game-high seven assists, hauled in nine rebounds and scored 15 points, including two coast-to-coast layups.

Williams led all scorers with 18 points as he hit four of five three pointers. All five Tar Heel starters scored in double figures with Berry, Johnson and May adding 14, 12 and 10.

Defensively the Heels wanted to hold the three-point shooting percentage down and they did that as Lipscomb hit just 25 percent from beyond the arc and 35 percent altogether. Carolina also outrebounded Lipscomb 47-29.

The second half lead stayed around 15 points most of the time but an eight-foot Garrison Brooks hook gave the Heels a 19-point lead with five minutes left. Then, with the subs in for the last minute, Shea Rush stole a pass in the open court and went in for a dunk, to the delight of the players on the bench, to give Carolina its biggest lead of the game at 84-61.

The Tar Heels, now 26-10, now play a tough, big Texas A&M team in the second round Sunday.

Box Score


Theo Pinson to the hoop.
(UNC Sports Information Photo by JD Lyon Jr.)

Virginia 71, Tar Heels 63
UVA plays its game to take title over UNC
A deliberate Virginia kept North Carolina a step behind the whole game as the Cavs won their third ACC Tournament Title with a 71-63 victory. (3/10)

The Tar Heels, playing their fourth game in four days, didn't have enough to get by No. 1 Virginia as the Cavs stuck to their script by slowing the pace, playing tough defense and hitting free throws.

Carolina, trailing 34-30 at the half, had a couple of opportunities to tie or take the lead in the second half but could not make the plays. Meanwhile tourney MVP Kyle Guy, who scored 16, did make the plays to keep the Heels at bay.

Guy scored six points, including a couple of long twos after nifty moves, during a 10-3 Virginia run that turned the Heels away for good after they had cut the margin to two.

A 7-0 Carolina run, highlighted by a Berry three from the top of the key, cut a nine-point UVA lead to two at 48-46. After one of just four Virginia turnovers, the Heels had a chance to tie or take the lead. But Berry threw it away well over Theo Pinson's head.

Then, down 50-47, the Tar Heels had a chance to tie it but Luke Maye, who led all scorers with 20 points, was short on a three-point attempt.

After the 10-3 Virginia run, Carolina never got it closer than five points as the Cavs, who hit 20 of 22 free throws, put the Heels away at the free throw line.

"I felt like we hung in there but you've got to do better against Virginia than just hanging in there," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "They're really good. We had to play really, really well and we didn't do that."

UVA coach Tony Bennett said that his team has an "uncommon chemistry" but it wasn't lost on him that Carolina may have been a tired team. "I don't know if we were fresher but we tried to wear 'em down - four games in four days."

While the Tar Heels played better than they did in the regular season matchup with the Cavs, they couldn't find the magic they had in tournament wins over Syracuse, Miami and Duke.

For instance, Pinson, who had a career-high 25 points earlier in the tourney, was just one of 10 from the field in this one, including missing all three of his three point attempts. Cam Johnson, who had been scoring in double figures each game, played only 22 minutes due to a sore back and managed only one basket in three attempts.

Joining Maye in double figures for the Heels were Berry, who scored 17, and Kenny Williams, who scored 12.

Maye and Pinson joined UVA's Guy and Devon Hall, and Duke's Marvin Bagley on the All-Tourney team.

The Tar Heels, now 25-10, are likely to get a No. 2 seed in the NCAA Tournament while Virginia, 31-2, is almost assured a No. 1 overall seed.

Box Score


Theo Pinson drives against Kyle Guy.
(UNC Sports Information Photo by JD Lyon Jr.)

 

2017-18 UNC Season Preview

Read about any UNC basketball game since 2007-2008
Other old archived headlines:
2012-2013 UNC basketball season preview
2010-2011 season began with Late Nite with Roy

ESPN blows it - What were they thinking?
Read about UNC's 2010 football bowl win
Readers weighed in on Tar Heels' 2009-2010 troubles
Shorthanded Heels get big game from freshmen in opener
Season Review: UNC baseball had one of its best years in 2008
Carolina basketball's run ends after comeback falls short
Tar Heels run out of gas against Fresno State
Season Review: Carolina ends season where it wanted - in Omaha

Flack does it in the clutch again as Tar Heels fight on
Federowicz heroics keep UNC alive in College World Series
Carolina in the College World Series again
UNC is one win away from third straight trip to the World Series

Carolina baseball advances to host Super Regional starting Saturday
Heels defeats UNC-Wilmington 7-3 with five-run inning
UNC's wins over Miami vault Heels to No. 1 in the nation
Carolina baseball reaches 40-game win mark
Tar Heels take two of three from Florida State

Also, check out my articles for the UNC alumni Web site on Carolina's 8-4 win over LSU, the 5-3 loss to Fresno State, the 7-3 win over LSU, the 4-3 victory over Fresno State and the season-ending loss to Fresno State.

© 2018 CB3media Cary, NC

Barnes

Heel Prints reviewed each UNC game
As a student sports editor years ago, prior to the season, Clifton Barnes predicted a national championship for the Tar Heels and indeed they won. In fact he wrote his lede paragraph for the national championship game almost a year early. He regrets that he didn't keep a journal after each game. He kept a journal after each game of the 2007-2008 season and you can reach them here. At the request of readers, he has kept up his journal of each game ever since. He also has written about UNC baseball and wrote an analysis after each 2008 UNC football game.

 

Editor's Note: HeelPrints chronicled the UNC basketball, baseball and football seasons for 2008 and 2009. Since the vast majority of comments I get about the site relate to basketball and since this isn't a paying job for me, I decided to limit my coverage and analysis to basketball. Baseball and football will remain archived and if I have comments or opinions I want to make on those or any other sports at UNC, I will make them here on the front page and then archive them in the corresponding sports section. Thanks for all the positive comments I have received about the site. Should I get sponsorship in the future, I will reconsider adding baseball and football again. Ironically, my favorite sports to watch in person are baseball and football. But my first connections to UNC came from watching Dean Smith's basketball teams on TV or listening to them on the radio in the days before all the games were televised. It should come as no surprise that people pay more attention to the basketball coverage. Thanks for your interest in this site.