Tar Heels to Final Four! ….sort of
The train kept rolling as UNC handled a feisty UAB on Tuesday night, or at least a feisty Elijah Millsap.
Despite coughing up 15 turnovers and — arguably — the team’s best shooter, Will Graves, going 0-9 from the field, the Heels were in control of the Blazers and won 60-55. No last-second heroics needed, Larry.
That didn’t stop Drew II from putting in some clutch free throws, as well as knocking down a couple of treys to seal the deal. John Henson matched a career-high in points and Deon Thompson turned in his first double-double since November. The Heels will face the winner of Virginia Tech and Rhode Island in Madison Square Garden for the semi-finals of the NIT.
It might not be the NCAAs, but man, has it been awesome to watch this team finally come together. The youngsters seem to be hitting on all cylinders, while the veterans are playing to keep their careers going — looking at you Thompson and Ginyard.
Deon and Marcus might feel a little let-down from their senior year, but there is a bright side to their sudden burst in hustle. They could make history as the first team to ever win the NCAA and NIT in consecutive years. While admittedly it underachieves what many thought was this team’s capability, I guess UNC just can’t go through a season without making some kind of history.
Oh, yeah. Congrats on reaching the 2,000 win plateau, boys!
The match-up in NYC is a fun one, regardless of who wins between VT and RI tonight. Why? Well, if Virginia Tech wins, the game will be against an ACC foe with whom Carolina split its games this year. If Rhode Island wins, it will be a match-up of teams with the same colors.
Personally, I’d like to see the RI game. That way the Heels could win on two levels: score and style.