UNC ekes out win at Miami
UNC 73, Miami 64
Through no doing of is own, UNC won in Coral Gables last night. We usually like to take digs at opposing teams by saying they didn’t beat UNC, but UNC beat itself. Last night, UNC did not win, Miami lost.
After leading at the half and starting the second with momentum, Miami proved to be what clowns they truly are. This would be all good and well, but considering UNC played down to the level of the pitiful Hurricanes for much of the game, there’s nothing much to gloat about. And we love to gloat over here. After last night, however, there’s no room for that.
- Harrison Barnes did show in the second half why he is considered by many as one of the best players in college basketball. As he’s done in the past, he proves he is not afraid to take over a game and was about the only thing UNC had going offensively. He did seem to disappear in the first half though. He came out early with 8 points but was unheard from leading in to half time. If he wants to be one of the best players in the country, he needs to show up for all 32 minutes he’s on the floor. Not just the last 15. Heroics are great, but we’d appreciate some balance as well.
- Tyler Zeller cooled off a bit from his stellar ACC play. The Miami front court of Kenny Kadji and Reggie Johnson actually outscored Zeller and Henson. Henson turned in a respectable double-double to go with 3 blocks, but for a minute there, Johnson about turned into the giant killer he was against Duke. We mentioned Kadji and Johnson could give UNC trouble, but we’re slightly amazed that UNC won considering how poorly they shot for much of the game and lack of front court production.
- Justin Watts did what Justin Watts is supposed to do last night. In only nine minutes on the floor, Watts was down on the court scooping up loose balls, disrupting shots down low and shooting 2-2 to add 4 points. The Heels looked like South Florida had taken all their energy and Watts was a spurt the team sorely needed. Side note, watching Watts play, you forget he’s only 6’5″ tall. Dude plays like he’s at least four inches taller. On a related note, you forget Reggie Bullock is two inches taller than Watts. While he defends very well for his position, often because he is several inches taller than the man he defends, he doesn’t use his height to his advantage near enough as he should. Believe if Watts was 6’7″, he’d let you know.
- As a team, UNC finally decided to hit some threes last night. Tar Heel Monthly shared some horrid stats around halftime. After an 0-6 showing behind the arc in the first half, UNC was 6-23 from 3 in the month of February and shooting just 23.2 percent from 3 in ACC road games. Barnes finished 3-7 from 3 and Bullock added two more for UNC which finished 5-18 for the game. P.J. Hairston continues his struggles shooting the ball. He was 0-2 from 3 in only eight minutes.
- Durand Scott finished with 15 to lead the Hurricanes, but about 4 of those points came on late drives when UNC was comfortably ahead. Thank goodness he didn’t remember how to do that earlier. How is that not in a game plan when you’re being guarded by Kendall Marshall?
Players of the Game
- Harrison Barnes (23 points, 6 rebounds 2 assists, 0 turnovers) – Most importantly, 2 asts and zero turnovers. When’s the last time Barnes had zero turnovers? Ever?
- Stat-Stuffer – John Henson (14 pts, 11 rebs, 3 blks, 2 asts, 1 stl) We said it earlier, but the Danny Green award may be getting renamed.
- Surprising stat of the night – Kendall Marshall’s 9 assists Maybe because he went 0-6 from the floor, maybe because we just expect him to dish out that many assists so it doesn’t stand out during the game or maybe because UNC couldn’t buy a basket so it seemed unrealistic that Marshall could have helped on nine separate field goals. Whatever it was, we didn’t think the tally would be that high by the end of the game.