Wrap-Up: UNC gets Wahooed in Charlottesville
UNC 52, UVA 61
This game is going to get some more attention in Episode 10 of the pod, but we felt it necessary to at least mention it in digital ink.
Roy Williams and the North Carolina coaching staff pretty much sum up what Sunday night at John Paul Jones Arena felt like in the above photo from the Raleigh News and Observer.
It’s never fun playing Tony Bennett and his pack-line defense, especially un-fun in Charlottesville, when the Tar Heels have the pace dictated for them. Games are low-scoring, sloppy and for a UNC basketball fan, unbearable to watch. But of course we watch.
With such a young team it was no big surprise UNC lost. I mean, after that UNLV game it was a bit of a surprise, but there was more confidence coming into this game than perhaps any other since early on in the season. It did not go UNC’s way and now Roy’s Boys are in a 0-1 ACC hole.
Speaking of surprises though, UNC was apparently 4-0 in JPJA going into Sunday night. Would not have guessed that.
Reggie Bullock in his return to action coming off a mild concussion was really the lone bright spot offensively. Defensively there were no spots that shone. The Heels were impatient and beat both inside and on the perimeter. It mostly hurt that the Cavaliers were just there to play. That intangible hustle factor came into play and UNC didn’t have the effort to match.
This was the return of the team who can come off an 80 point performance and then barely get over the 50 point threshold of mediocrity. It was a rough game.
Takeaways and (Lack of) Superlatives
- If you were following the game last night on social media then you know Karl Hess, per usual, was getting it from the fans. But also, per usual, he was getting it from both UNC and UVA loyalists. If you want to complain that Carolina was on the short end of calls too often, ask a Virginia fan how they felt. Complain all you want, but don’t complain that it was all in UVA’s favor. Make a constructive criticism asking for consistency, otherwise you sound like the obnoxious UNC fan others chastise and claim us to be. Case in point: UVA was whistled for the first seven fouls of the game. UNC was then called for six unanswered fouls. That’s good for no one. Don’t sound like such a dick when you’re upset and blame opposing fan bases and schools; it’s not their fault and they’re affected by the same problem we are. It’s bad officiating, the scourge of the NCAA and athletics in general.
- Free throw woes continue. The Heels only converted on 53% of attempts last night, but worse, only made it to the line five times in the second half after getting there 12 times in the first 20 minutes. And two of those were very late when the game was already out of contention. It also took at least ten minutes for them to get there in the second half. And to reiterate bullet one, don’t blame the refs. UNC was not attacking the basket and looked timid in the second half after starting so strong in that category. Poor performance by the Heels.
- Bad shooting from outside by everyone but Reggie Bullock. If Carolina doesn’t shoot well in a game like this you can pretty much mark down an L. Take away Bullock and UNC was 1-11 from deep.
- Player of the Game: Reggie Bullock (22 points, 5 rebounds, 1 block) When you score almost as many points as the rest of the team combined you win this award.
- Turning Play of the Game: James Michael McAdoo’s missed dunk. With about eight to go and the Heels having already relinquished the lead and any semblance of momentum to the Cavs, JMM missed a dunk that could have turned the game back in Carolina’s favor. UVA would take the miss and convert a FG to push the lead to six. UNC would pull it within one a couple minutes late, but at that point you knew it wasn’t North Carolina’s night.