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Off the cuff: A good start for one team and a bad start for another can end a game early. Wake Forest missed 10 of its first 11 shots as Carolina raced out to a 25-3 lead midway through the first half.

"Wake Forest had some open shots that they missed," UNC coach Roy Williams said.

But it was more than that. The Heels ended up hitting 15 of their first 19 shots. Carolina was moving fluidly and getting good shots and hitting them.

The only two negatives were 15 turnovers and a poor showing at the free throw line (three of 11).

Carolina has now won three ACC road games by 20 or more points for the first time in a season under Coach Williams.

It was fun to see reserves play the last 5:45. Caleb Ellis and K.J. Smith especially did well. Ellis put one in above the rim and picked up a rebound. Smith hit a three from the corner and made a nifty pass to Brandon Huffman for a dunk.

Nassir Little, coming off an ankle injury, got banged up a bit and didn't play in the second half as a precautionary move.

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Despite shooting only 35 percent, it looked as if the Tar Heels might grind out a tough home win against No. 4 Virginia.

The Heels had seemingly overcome an injury to Nassir Little in the first half to erase a 36-27 deficit to go up 53-46 with under nine minutes to play.

Carolina had gone on a 17-3 run but the Heels committed a couple of shot clock violations, Cam Johnson got hurt and Kyle Guy hit three three-pointers to do in the Heels.

They say football is a game of inches but, on this night, basketball was a game of inches.

Coby White was inches away from securing a loose ball late in the half that would have ended in a layup but the shot clock expired on Virginia before he had possession.

Late in the game, it appeared that White had gotten off a wild three at the end of a shot clock but officials ruled that the ball wasn't out of his hands when clock expired, negating a key basket.

No one seemed to argue the call and TV announcers agreed that the clock had gone to zero before it was off White's fingertips. But I believe the basket should have counted. The clock not only has to go to zero but the horn has to sound.

In other words, there could have been 0.9 seconds, 0.8 seconds, 0.7 seconds, 0.6 seconds, 0.5 seconds, 0.4 seconds, 0.3 seconds, 0.2 seconds or 0.1 seconds left on the clock.

Everyone seemed to be going by a single digit zero on the clock, rather than listening for the horn. If they aren't going to listen for the horn, the shot clocks really should have four digits - or at least three - on them rather than just two.

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Carolina Football: Golden anniversary of a redeeming 50-0 victory over Duke.

Carolina Football: Excerpts from an article on the history of the Carolina-Duke rivalry.

 

Carolina scores early and often in romp
North Carolina, coming off a loss at home to Virginia, went on the road and came out on fire at Wake Forest, scoring the first 18 points of the game and rolling over the Deacs, 95-57. (2/16)

The 38-point win is the largest in the long, storied 228-game history between the two teams.

"We caught Wake Forest on a good day for us and a bad day for them," UNC coach Roy Williams said.

UNC's Cam Johnson hit his first eight shots of the game, six of them three pointers. He didn't miss a shot until five minutes into the second half after tweaking an ankle on a dunk seconds earlier.

Five different Tar Heels scored in getting out to an 18-0 lead with Johnson scoring eight of them on his way to a 14-point first half and a 27-point final tally.

Carolina got its biggest lead of the first half with seven minutes left as reserve Brandon Robinson stroked a three from the right side to go up 28 at 35-7. The Heels hit 10 threes in the first half.

The 49-21 halftime advantage was the largest at the break this season for Carolina. It could have been an even larger lead if not for a plethora of turnovers. The Heels had more turnovers (11) than missed shots in the first half (7).

In the second half, the margin never got fewer than 26 points as the lead swelled to 38 points at 83-45 with six minutes to go after a 7-0 run. Robinson sunk a three from the left side and then scored on a breakaway dunk to finish off that run.

The subs came on with 5:45 to go with a 36-point lead and managed to hold the advantage and add a pair.

The Tar Heels finished shooting 62 percent from the field and came up one short of the UNC three-point record of 17 scored against Florida State in 1995. Wake shot only 32 percent for the game.

Joining Johnson in double figures for the Tar Heels were Luke Maye and Coby White, who each scored 10.

With the win, Carolina moves to 20-5 and 10-2 in the conference, tied for second place. With the loss, Wake falls to 9-15 overall and 2-10 in the ACC, tied with Pitt for last place.

The Tar Heels play at first-place Duke Wednesday at 9 p.m.

Box score


UNC's Cam Johnson, left, gets an open three as Wake coach Danny Manning can only grimace. (UNC Sports Information photo.)

With game on the line, Heels go cold
North Carolina, down by seven at the half and up by as many as seven in the second half, went cold over the last four minutes of a tie game as Virginia finished the game on a 12-2 run to defeat the Heels 69-61 in Chapel Hill. (2/11)

Two plays on offense and two plays on defense turned the tide after Carolina had built a 55-48 lead with less than eight minutes to go.

First, UNC's Cam Johnson took a pass but came down on an opponent's foot and coughed up the ball. With an injured Johnson writhing on the court, Ty Jerome hit an open three from the right corner to tie the game at 55-55.

Second, Coby White, not realizing the shot clock was running down, fired up a wild three from Walter Davis land and it went in to apparently give the Heels a 62-59 lead. But officials reviewed it and ruled that the ball was still on White's fingertips when the shot clock expired.

Third, with Virginia up 61-59, the Cavs' Kyle Guy got away from Kenny Williams and drilled an open three from the right corner.

Fourth, Guy got loose from Williams again and hit a three-pointer to give the Cavs a 67-61 lead with 1:10 left.

The Tar Heels went one of 11 over the last four minutes while Virginia hit six of seven shots during the run.

"Guy made two big shots for them and we were getting stagnant - taking bad shots and turning the ball over," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "They made the plays down the stretch and we didn't."

Carolina was hindered by injuries as Johnson missed key moments near the end of the game while Nassir Little played only two minutes in the first half when he went down with an ankle injury. The Tar Heels were already without Sterling Manley, who missed his 12th game in a row, and Leaky Black, who missed his fourth game.

With those four out, Carolina really needed their point guard, Coby White, to come through. He didn't. White hit only six of 19 shots, including just three of 11 from beyond the arc. He also had only two assists but three turnovers. He did lead Carolina scorers with 17 points.

"I love him but I'm not going to praise him for that (the 17 points)," Coach Williams said. "I don't think he played very well."

He added that he wasn't bragging on anyone as Carolina shot only 35 percent from the field, compared to 53 percent for Virginia. Luke Maye hit only two of 10 shots and Kenny Williams shot only three of 10.

North Carolina had won seven in a row before falling to 19-5 and 9-2 in the conference. With the win, Virginia ties the Heels for second in the league with an identical 9-2 mark.

The Tar Heels play at Wake Forest Saturday at noon.

Box score


UNC's Cam Johnson, left, was injured during key minutes down the stretch. (UNC Sports Information photo.)

2018-19 UNC Season Preview

Read about any UNC basketball game since 2007-2008
Other old archived headlines:
2012-2013 UNC basketball season preview
2010-2011 season began with Late Nite with Roy

ESPN blows it - What were they thinking?
Read about UNC's 2010 football bowl win
Readers weighed in on Tar Heels' 2009-2010 troubles
Shorthanded Heels get big game from freshmen in opener
Season Review: UNC baseball had one of its best years in 2008
Carolina basketball's run ends after comeback falls short
Tar Heels run out of gas against Fresno State
Season Review: Carolina ends season where it wanted - in Omaha

Flack does it in the clutch again as Tar Heels fight on
Federowicz heroics keep UNC alive in College World Series
Carolina in the College World Series again
UNC is one win away from third straight trip to the World Series

Carolina baseball advances to host Super Regional starting Saturday
Heels defeats UNC-Wilmington 7-3 with five-run inning
UNC's wins over Miami vault Heels to No. 1 in the nation
Carolina baseball reaches 40-game win mark
Tar Heels take two of three from Florida State

Also, check out my articles for the UNC alumni Web site on Carolina's 8-4 win over LSU, the 5-3 loss to Fresno State, the 7-3 win over LSU, the 4-3 victory over Fresno State and the season-ending loss to Fresno State.

© 2018 CB3media Cary, NC

Barnes

Heel Prints reviewed each UNC game
As a student sports editor years ago, prior to the season, Clifton Barnes predicted a national championship for the Tar Heels and indeed they won. In fact he wrote his lede paragraph for the national championship game almost a year early. He regrets that he didn't keep a journal after each game. He kept a journal after each game of the 2007-2008 season and you can reach them here. At the request of readers, he has kept up his journal of each game ever since. He also has written about UNC baseball and wrote an analysis after each 2008 UNC football game.

 

Editor's Note: HeelPrints chronicled the UNC basketball, baseball and football seasons for 2008 and 2009. Since the vast majority of comments I get about the site relate to basketball and since this isn't a paying job for me, I decided to limit my coverage and analysis to basketball. Baseball and football will remain archived and if I have comments or opinions I want to make on those or any other sports at UNC, I will make them here on the front page and then archive them in the corresponding sports section. Thanks for all the positive comments I have received about the site. Should I get sponsorship in the future, I will reconsider adding baseball and football again. Ironically, my favorite sports to watch in person are baseball and football. But my first connections to UNC came from watching Dean Smith's basketball teams on TV or listening to them on the radio in the days before all the games were televised. It should come as no surprise that people pay more attention to the basketball coverage. Thanks for your interest in this site.