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Off the cuff: Pittsburgh is hard to like - and they seem to like it that way. The Capel brothers appear to have a hatred for Carolina. Jeff, the head coach, played at Duke while Jason, the assistant who played at Carolina, openly celebrated on the court and made deparaging comments against UNC fans who he says booed him.

Their "emotion" seems to carry over to the Pitts players and it works for them. Carolina can't match the physicality and if officials don't call the game the way it was called when Hubert Davis played, the Tar Heels will have a hard time beating them in the future.

The Tar Heels have lost three straight times to Pitt in Chapel Hill. That rarely has happened over the years. In fact, only Duke (1999-2002) and Wake Forest (2002-2004) have been able to accomplish that.

While Coach Davis said it's a waste of time to do a lot of talking on the court, Pitt's Nelly Cummings was yacking the whole game - at individual UNC players, at the Carolina bench and at the Smith Center fans.

Coach Davis said his players lost their composure at times and at the end of the game the Tar Heel fans let the officials know about their displeasure.

The fan base certainly seems ready for a fight. Will the Tar Heels be ready for a fight the next time they face the Panthers? We'll see. For now, they better be ready for a fight at Duke Saturday.

Look for Duke to push Bacot around inside and attempt to deny him the ball. Bacot has to do more to get loose and his teammates need to have the patience to pass up long shots early in the shot clock and work it to Bacot.

The injured Puff Johnson missed yet another game. He'll be needed against the Blue Devils.

Pittsburgh 65, Carolina 64
Physical Panthers outbattle Tar Heels

In heartwrenching fashion, North Carolina fell to Pittsburgh for the second time this season after Jamarius Burton's two free throws with just over three seconds to play gave the visiting Panthers a 65-64 win. (2/1)

The Tar Heels shot poorly all night, managing just 35 percent from the field (including 18 percent from beyond the arc) and a mere 59 percent from the free throw line.

Still, North Carolina trailed by just one, 34-33, at the half and built a 46-40 lead seven minutes into the second half.

Pitt, who were physically aggressive on offense and defense, quickly changed the direction of the game with a 17-4 run that started with three consecutive three-pointers from Nelly Cummings, who led the Panthers with 21 points.

Still down 61-55, the Tar Heels tied it up after scoring six straight on an and-one bucket by Armando Bacot and a three-pointer by Caleb Love, which was Carolina's first triple of the second half after 10 tries.

Carolina took the lead at 64-63 on two free throws from Bacot with 1:07 left. But with a chance to extend the lead, Bacot traveled to turn the ball over with 26 seconds left.

Pitt held for a last shot and R.J. Davis fouled Burton, who had hit 19 straight free throws, on a jumper in the lane with just over three seconds left. After his made free throws and a UNC timeout, Love put up a three that was blocked by Nike Sibande. Carolina faithful, who had an issue with the officials most of the night, felt Love was fouled.

"We just didn't play well enough," UNC coach Hubert Davis said. "We weren't good enough. We weren't tough enough. We weren't discipline enough."

The two players who have been catalysts for the Tar Heels - Bacot and Davis - were just six of 25 from the floor and 11 of 19 from the free throw line.

The game got chippy several times as players on both teams mouthed off at each other although Pitt generally seemed to be the initiators.

"I do want them to be emotional," Coach Davis said of his team. "But you can also be under control... At times we did lose our composure but we were able to get it back."

Pitt, now 16-7 overall and 9-3 in the ACC, have won five of the last six against the Tar Heels.

Carolina, now 15-7 overall and 7-4 in the conference, was led by Love's 22 points. The Heels plays at rival Duke Saturday night.

Box score

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