By Adam Lucas
1. Solid Saturday afternoon highway win for Carolina, cruising previous Louisville, 80-59.
2. Armando Bacot was again within the beginning lineup on Saturday, coming back from an ankle harm that stored him out of Tuesday’s journey to Virginia. The Tar Heel massive man had a double-double earlier than halftime with 11 factors and ten rebounds on the break. Foul bother restricted him within the second half, and he completed with 14 factors and 16 rebounds.
3. Bacot was joined within the beginning lineup by Puff Johnson, making his second profession begin (the opposite was at Virginia Tech in place of Bacot, who missed that recreation with a shoulder harm). Johnson had a fast stretch of eight factors early within the second half that helped the Tar Heels stretch the result in practically 20.
4. Tremendous job by D’Marco Dunn defensively on El Ellis. Ellis, a North Carolina native, began the sport scorching with 11 fast factors, primarily by drawing fouls and attending to the free throw line. He did it in opposition to a sequence of Tar Heel defenders, however when the Heels put Dunn on him on the 7:31 mark, Ellis was scoreless for the remainder of the half. With Louisville’s major offensive choice lower off, Carolina constructed a 37-26 halftime lead. Dunn was a stellar +18 in simply 13 minutes of first half taking part in time. He additionally made some massive offensive performs within the second half, scoring ten factors to go together with 5 rebounds. It felt like the most effective recreation of Dunn’s younger Carolina profession.
5. Without Ellis, the Cardinal offense merely wasn’t superb in these first 20 minutes. They shot 32 p.c from the sphere, 11 p.c from the three-level line, and have been fully unable to take benefit of Carolina turnovers. Louisville managed simply two factors off seven UNC turnovers within the first half. Carolina’s energetic palms on protection additionally made a distinction; the Tar Heels had 11 steals, a season excessive for a regulation recreation (the Heels had 12 in 4 overtimes in opposition to Alabama). Caleb Love led the way in which with 5 steals, and Leaky Black had three.
6. Carolina goes to should be even handed about taking part in protection with out fouling as they get into the center of the ACC schedule. They dedicated 12 fouls within the first 12 minutes of the second half on Saturday, enabling Louisville to remain within reach on a day when the Cardinals weren’t taking part in effectively in any respect. Hubert Davis ultimately went zone with 7:30 left to try to present a special defensive look. Carolina despatched UVA to the road 19 occasions on Tuesday night time (simply 12 makes an attempt for Carolina) and watched Louisville, a staff with little or no intent to get the ball inside, take 28 free throws to Carolina’s 23.
7. That double-double for Bacot is the 59th of his Carolina profession. His subsequent one will tie him with Billy Cunningham’s 60 as probably the most in Tar Heel historical past.
8. Good day for the Carolina bench. Hubert Davis used a spread of lineups all through the sport, and acquired good contributions from Dunn, Dontrez Styles and Jalen Washington. The Tar Heel bench handily outscored the Louisville reserves, 26-9. Factor in an excellent day from Puff Johnsonusually a reserve, who had ten factors, and the Tar Heel depth has been impactful.
9. You hear about officers when issues go dangerous, however not at all times once they do issues effectively. Credit to Roger Ayers–generally thought-about the most effective official within the ACC–for whistling Ellis for kicking his leg out to attract a foul whereas capturing within the first half. It wasn’t a preferred whistle within the Yum Center, nevertheless it was the suitable name, and one which hopefully will deter different shooters from making an attempt one thing related.
10. Pete Nance didn’t play for the third straight recreation as he continues to come back again from a again harm.
11. Very robust displaying by Louisville-area Tar Heel followers. The Yum Center is historically one of probably the most hostile arenas within the Atlantic Coast Conference, however a struggling Cardinals staff mixed with a Saturday afternoon tipoff enabled an enormous contingent of Carolina followers to acquire tickets. Heel followers even acquired a “Tar!” “Heels!” chant going within the second half after the attendance started to skinny out.
12. Love went 0-for-7 from the three-level line, breaking his faculty report streak of 45 straight video games with a 3-pointer.
13. As you in all probability know, Saturday was Carolina’s first highway win of the yr. This subsequent week is a giant one, with two dwelling video games (Boston College on Tuesday and NC State Saturday) earlier than hitting the highway once more for Syracuse. With a jumbled ACC, there are nonetheless loads of alternatives to play the way in which again in the direction of the highest.