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Off the cuff: Not sure if we learned anything about the Tar Heels in their lost to UConn but we did learn that the Huskies are a hard team to like.

From Dan Hurley taking a page from the book of Bobby by exorting the crowd to cheer (when the game was in hand) to Cam "Chatty Cathy" Spencer bragging about his shots to the defender, UConn is not likeable.

Spencer did get a technical on the heels of Bacot wrongly getting a technical for celebrating a dunk. He wasn't directing his celebration at anyone in particular like Spencer always did.

They are a good team and a deep team - or at least they have several players who can score. And they can either play inside or outside. It was mostly outside in this game as the guards killed Carolina.

UNC guard RJ Davis hurt UConn but ultimately didn't kill them. He has become the most consistent Tar Heel. Seems he's always the top scorer. Depending on the opponent, it would be good for an inside guy like Bacot or a swing guy like Ingram to be the top scorer.

Bacot keeps racking up double-doubles but he should have had more than 13 points. He hit just 33 percent of his field goals and he missed five of 10 free throws. That's a lot of points left on the table. He should hit 60 percent from the floor and at least 75 percent from the free throw line. That would have been about eight more points - enough to make this a one-possession game.

Also, with a third of the season done, Cormac Ryan is going to have to go on quite a three-point run to simply get his stats in the average category. He missed all six of his three-point shots in this game and he's only 12 of 47 for the season - just over 25 percent. Anything under about 33 percent is a liability. He's also just 12 of 26 from inside the arc. Certainly no Brady Manek.

All this being said, Carolina had its chances to win this game and the flashes of brilliance still leave Coach Davis encouraged for the future.

"I'm encouraged about what this team can be and where it can go," Coach Davis said. "I'm excited about what we can become."


A lot of times when a team hits a lot of threes early, they can't keep it up. But the fear in this game was had Florida State already done enough by hitting nine of 17 threes to go up 45-31 with 17:20 to go?

The Seminoles did cool off a bit as they hit only two threes over the last 16 minutes of the game. Meanwhile Carolina was cold from the three-point line all afternoon as the Heels were only five of 22.

What Carolina did do is control the pace of the game over the last 15 minutes. And the Heels outrebounded the Noles 39-30 and hit 25 free throws compared to just four by FSU.

Even though Carolina committed fewer personal fouls than Florida State, there was a stretch where Tar Heel fans were ill as a hornet.

Late in the first half there were at least three calls that drew the Carolina faithfuls' ire - and with good reason.

First, Armando Bacot was credited with a basket on a basketball interference call on a Florida State player for getting his hand tangled up in the net. Three minutes of game play went by before the next timeout. During that timeout, officials took away the basket, saying it actually wasn't basket interference.

Excuse me? Bacot had gotten the rebound as the whistle blew, awarding him the basket. So, the officials took away the basket and the Carolina possession as well. That should not be a call that can be changed. If it is changed, the team that got the rebound should be awarded an extra possession. For instance if the possession arrow was to Florida State, it shoulid at the very least be changed to Carolina. But again, it shouldn't be a reviewable play.

If that's reviewable, the two phantom fouls on Cadeau and Bacot over the next couple of minutes should be able to be reviewed.

Another poor call by the officials was initially called correctly but changed after seeing it again on video during a timeout.

On that play, it was ruled to be a shot clock violation when actually a Florida State player touched the ball as it went out of bounds with a second left on the shot clock.

The TV crew was too busy yuckin' it up to discuss any of these issues.



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.


UConn 87, Carolina 76
Heels can't stop Huskies, can't shoot
In an emotional, hard-fought top 10 matchup, No. 9 North Carolina couldn't keep up with No. 5 Connecticut offensively or defensively in an 87-76 loss at Madison Square Garden in New York as part of the Jimmy V Classic. (12/5)

It was a close game throughout the first half, with the Tar Heels down by five at half, and Carolina scored the first bucket of the second half to close within three.

But the Huskies reeled off four threes without a miss over the next three minutes to get up by 13 at 58-45 and Carolina switched to catch-up mode.

Pressure defense combined with several buckets by UNC's RJ Davis cut the deficit to five and later six points.

"We sped them up and took them out of rhythm and it was a five-point game," UNC coach Hubert Davis said. "Then we had three wide-open shots and they didn't go down."

The Heels could get no closer as they missed nine of 10 shots while UConn increased the lead to as many as 17 points.

Coach Davis pointed to the Huskies' 11-rebound edge as a big difference. "Before the game I told our guys that the No. 1 determining factor is rebounding," he said. "It took away possessions for us and kept us out of transition."

Another difference came at the free throw line where Carolina was a mere 13 of 22, easily the Tar Heels worst performance from the line this season.

RJ Davis had another good outing leading all scorers with 26 points, hitting all six of his free throws and canning four of eight threes. Harrison Ingram scored 20 and dished out five assists while Armando Bacot was the only other Tar Heel in double figures with 13 points and 13 rebounds.

Cormac Ryan, brought in to be a three-point artist, was zero of six from beyond the three-point line as the Heels were outshot from the field 51.5 percent to 44.4 percent.

Cam Spencer led four Huskies in double figures with 23 points, 16 of them coming in the first half. UConn moves to 8-1 with its only loss against Kansas.

The Tar Heels, now 7-2, don't play for 11 days when they meet Kentucky in a CBS tournament in Atlanta on Saturday, Dec. 16 at 5:30 p.m.

Box score

Carolina 78, Florida State 70
UNC rallies from 14 down to beat FSU
North Carolina survived Florida State's top three-point shooting game of the season and used pressure defense to rally from 14 points down in the second half to defeat the Seminoles 78-70 in Chapel Hill. (12/2)

Still down eight midway through the second half, the Tar Heels went on an energy-infused 22-0 run. To start the run, Armando Bacot scored inside and got fired up by a hard foul that knocked his hair down. That old-fashioned three-point play was followed by an RJ Davis three from the the left wing.

Then Davis found a streaking Elliott Cadeau for a layup to tie it at 56-all with about eight minutes to go. Cadeau followed that up with a fastbreak bucket off a smooth crossover dribble and Carolina never trailed again.

"I felt like our energy wasn't there in the first half and coming out in the second half," UNC coach Hubert Davis said. "Then we started to press and that started to get us alive. That energy allowed us to come back...

"We created turnovers that allowed us to attack the basket and convert. And it sped them up. They were out of their offense. They took quick shots and we rebounded and got out in transition."

There were seven lead changes and three ties in the first half but the Seminoles went on an 8-0 run at the end of the half to go up 35-29. The Heels failed to score over the last 3:18. FSU hit seven of 14 threes in the half. The Seminoles had been averaging seven threes a game.

Carolina started the second half like it ended the first half as Florida State extended the lead to 45-31 with a 10-2 run.

That's when Carolina employed the full-court press that changed the trajectory of the game and led to the 22-0 run that ended with a 14-point lead for the Heels at 70-56.

A 9-1 FSU run made the final score respectable but the Heels ended any further drama when Davis drained a long three and hit four straight free throws.

Davis, who hit all eight of his free throw shots, finished with a game-high 27 points to go along with five assists. Bacot had another double-double with 13 points and 13 rebounds. Harrison Ingram was the only other Tar Heel in double figures with 11 points.

Jamir Watkins led Florida State, now 4-3 and 0-1 in the ACC, with 17 points and eight rebounds.

The Tar Heels, now 7-1, play UConn Tuesday at 9 p.m. in the Jimmy V Classic in New York's Madison Square Garden.

Box score


2022-2023 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.

© 2023 CB3media Cary, NC


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.