Home Page banner.cb3cartoon.
Check back prior to the 2008 season for a preview and a program outlook.
Click here for Carolina baseball analysis.

Off the cuff: Michigan State is good. This was a two-point game at 48-46 with less than 16 minutes to play. It was a team effort with Bacot doing his normal positive things and RJ Davis getting 20 again.

The difference may have been the supporting cast. Harrison Ingram, who scored 17 poiunts, tied his career high with five threes. Cormac Ryan scored in double figures for the 20th time this season. Elliot Cadeau had a plus/minus of 20, which means the Tar Heels outscored Michigan State by 20 points when he was on the floor. And Seth Trimble blocked two shots and disrupted others.

The recipe is for Bacot and Davis to do their usual things and for the others - particularly the four mentioned above - to play up to their abilities.

It was another Tar Heel that Bacot called out as instrumental to the win - Paxson Wojcik. "What really changed for us defensively was Paxson coming in. I thought he really made a huge impact on us, and he really got us going. For him to come in like that and step up when his number's called speaks volumes about guys being ready to play on our team."

RJ Davis pointed out Trimble's defense. "Seth is the best defender in the ACC and one of the best defenders in the country. Just his impact on the defensive end has been huge for us all year, especially today's game," he said adding that Trimble was challenged with covering Tyson Walker at times. "I think he did a great of making it hard for him, being physical on the catch, getting over screens."

This was a national championship type effort. Can the Heels keep it up?

Carolina 85, Michigan State 69
Heels rally to defeat tough Michigan St.

A physical, aggressive Michigan State team put North Carolina on notice early as the Spartans raced out to 12-point lead. But after a fiery UNC coach Hubert Davis went ballistic during a timeout, the Tar Heels matched and exceeded the competitive fire, going on to beat a tough Michigan State team 85-69. (3/23) 

Down 26-14, Carolina rallied to go on a commanding 26-5 run that turned the game around that put the Tar Heels in front 40-31 at the half.

"He instills confidence in us at time like that when we go down 12," Armando Bacot said of his coach.

RJ Davis, who led Carolina with 20 points, said, "Coach Davis gives us that passion, fire and competitive spirit to play to the best of our abilities." He said that the timeout speech really got the Tar Heels going as the team responded immediately.

Coach Davis said that Michigan State punched them first and the Tar Heels didn't match their physical aggression. "We started to compete," he said. "We joined the fight."

That game-changing run was fueled by five threes by three different Carolina players - Davis, Harrison Ingram and Cormac Ryan. Ingram hit his third three of the run just seconds before halftime.

"Today I was open and I was able to hit the shots," said Ingram, who finished five of seven from three for 17 points. "But we're all about team. I was just able to hit them today."

The Tar Heels hit six of 16 from three in the first half and finished 10 of 28 in the game for 38 percent. The Heels shot 47 percent from the floor compared to 44 percent for Michigan State.

It didn't start that was as the Spartans hit seven of their first 10 shots to get a double-digit lead at 17-7.

"They brought the fight and were really killing us but then our defense started going for the rest of the game," Bacot said.

Carolina blocked six shots and came up with five steals. The Heels scored 16 points off 11 Michigan State turnovers.

The Tar Heels did lose the rebounding battle for the first time in 25 games, 37-32. Carolina didn't get an offensive rebound until a tip in by Bacot put the Heels up 48-43 with 16 minutes left. But UNC was effective after that outscoring the Spartans in second-chance points 10-2.

The game stayed close for much of the second half until a 14-2 run erased any doubt of the outcome. A free throw by Davis gave the Tar Heels their biggest lead at 76-59 with 3:35 to go.

Michigan State, who finish the season 20-15, were led by Tyson Walker's 24 points.

Bacot and Ryan joined Davis and Ingram in double figures with 18 and 14 points respectively. The Tar Heels, now 29-7, advance to the West Regional semi-finals in Los Angeles to play the winner of Sunday's game between Alabama and Grand Canyon on Thursday.

Box score

Check out the other game articles.
Read my Tar Heels' season preview on by clicking here.

© 2024 CB3media Cary, NC