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Off the cuff: Carolina looked a lot better against Clemson than it did at Pittsburgh. The results are the same however.

At the Pitt post-game news conference, UNC coach Roy Williams seemed resigned to the fact that the team - as currently constituted - isn't that good. "I like the way our kids tried," he said. "We just didn't make enough shots."

Since when has trying been good enough for Carolina basketball? There needs to be some doing.

That includes from the free throw line as the Heels hit only 10 of 21. Garrison Brooks, who less than two weeks ago was on a 19 of 20 run, hit only two of his eight free throw attempts.

The game was really lost during a four-minute stretch of the first half. From about the 12:30 mark to the 8:30 mark, the Tar Heels were outscored 12-0. During that stretch, Carolina turned the ball over on five straight possessions.

The rest of the game was pretty even. Take away those four minutes and the game probably would have gone down to the buzzer.

Until Carolina gets some players back healthy - named Cole Anthony - and they hit a few more points, especially free throws, the trend is likely to continue.

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Carolina looked a lot better against Clemson than it did at Pittsburgh. The results are the same however.

At the Pitt post-game news conference, UNC coach Roy Williams seemed resigned to the fact that the team - as currently constituted - isn't that good. "I like the way our kids tried," he said. "We just didn't make enough shots."

Since when has trying been good enough for Carolina basketball? There needs to be some doing.

That includes from the free throw line as the Heels hit only 10 of 21. Garrison Brooks, who less than two weeks ago was on a 19 of 20 run, hit only two of his eight free throw attempts.

The game was really lost during a four-minute stretch of the first half. From about the 12:30 mark to the 8:30 mark, the Tar Heels were outscored 12-0. During that stretch, Carolina turned the ball over on five straight possessions.

The rest of the game was pretty even. Take away those four minutes and the game probably would have gone down to the buzzer.

Until Carolina gets some players back healthy - named Cole Anthony - and they hit a few more points, especially free throws, the trend is likely to continue.

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Look for my immediate, off-the-cuff comments following UNC basketball games this season. Opinions, observations, irritations and general insightful rants.

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Archives

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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.

 

Tar Heels lose 6th straight ACC game
North Carolina lost its sixth straight ACC game for the first time in history as the Tar Heels fall in a heartbreaker at Virginia Tech, 79-77 in double overtime. (1/22)

Carolina, now 8-10 and 1-6 in the conference, led by six at the half and led by 12 at one point in the second half. In fact, the Heels led nearly 40 minutes of the 50-minute game.

With Brandon Robinson out with a neck injury as the result of a car accident and with Armando Bacot in foul trouble, finally fouling out in the first overtime, UNC couldn't hold off the Hokies.

With less than four minutes left in regulation, Carolina was in control 59-52 but Virginia Tech's Jalen Cone, who scored all of his 18 points on three pointers, hit back-to-back threes from the corners to pull the Hokies within a point with three minutes to go.

UNC's Leaky Black only managed one of two free throws with 20 seconds to go to give the Heels a 60-58 lead. P.J. Horne tied the game for VT with a pair of free throws with 13 seconds to go.

Carolina's Garrison Brooks, who led the Heels with 28 points and 13 rebounds, was long on a turn-around jumper at the buzzer and the game went to overtime.'

The Tar Heels got out to a 65-60 lead in overtime but was outscored 7-2 the rest of the way. Once again Carolina had a chance to score at the buzzer to win it but a long three by Leaky Black at the buzzer was way off.

In double overtime, the score went back and forth with three lead changes and a tie. Brooks hit an off-balanced, sideways shot with 12 seconds left for a 77-77 tie. But VT's Tyrece Radford drove to the basket and scored his first points of the game with less than a second to go.

A long inbounds pass was intercepted and the Tar Heels fell yet again.

"We had our opportunities," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "We've got to be a better shooting team."

Coach Williams said his team was competitive and worked hard. "These young guys need to be rewarded a little bit," he said.

He added that the Tar Heels are pretty thin right now with four of the top seven players out. Cole Anthony, the freshman sensation, said he is coming back soon.

The three-point shot hurt the Heels as Virginia Tech shot more threes than twos and hit 14 of them while Carolina hit just seven, missing all six attempts in the two overtimes. Andrew Platek, who had an open three late that could have put Carolina up by four, missed seven of his eight three attempts.

The Tar Heels return home Saturday at noon to play Miami.

Box Score


UNC's Armando Bacot was in foul trouble much of the game and only played 29 of the game's 50 minutes. (UNC Athletic Communications)

Pain continues as Heels fall at Pittsburgh
North Carolina shot 31 percent and turned the ball over 16 times as Pittsburgh raced out to a 23-point lead and held on for a 66-52 victory over the flailing Tar Heels. (1/18)

Carolina, now 8-9, fell below .500 at this point in a season for the first time since the Matt Doherty-led Heels of 2002 that went 8-20.

The Tar Heels led 5-4 early but that was it as Pitt controlled the game. During an eight-minute stretch in the first half, Carolina turned the ball over eight times, including on five straight possessions.

"Turnovers early set us so far back," UNC coach Roy Williams said. "The turnovers put us back on our heels to the point we couldn't get back."

Midway through the half, Pitt got a double-digit lead on a Ryan Murphy three that made it 21-10. UNC never got closer than 10 the rest of the game - that coming with 1:45 left in the game when Andrew Platek passed to Garrison Brooks who dunked it to make the score 62-52.

In the next 30 seconds though, Brooks lost control of the ball for UNC's 16th turnover and Armando Bacot fouled out for the already short-handed Tar Heels.

Pitt's largest lead came when Xavier Johnson blew past Leaky Black for a layup that made it 40-17.

The Tar Heels, who went to an effective zone defense, got chances in the second half but couldn't make shots. The 20-point halftime deficit proved too much to overcome.

"It's not pleasant. It's not a good feeling after the game," Williams said of the recent failures. "We'll play again Tuesday or Wednesday, whenever it is."

Brooks led Carolina with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Robinson and Bacot, who both fouled out late, each tallied 12 points.

The Tar Heels, now 8-9 overall and 1-5 in the ACC, play at Virginia Tech Wednesday.

Box Score


UNC's Armando Bacot, who had 12 points and 11 rebounds, works his way through traffic. (UNC Athletic Communications)

2019-20 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.

© 2019 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.