University of North Carolina Athletics

By Adam Lucas

1. For the 10th straight year, Carolina has won a game in the ACC Tournament, as the Heels thumped Florida State, 92-67. Carolina is now 22-0 in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals as the top seed. 

2. That’s one of the best possible offensive versions of this year’s Carolina team. The Tar Heels shot well, hitting better than 50 percent from the field, hit just enough from the perimeter (8-for-19 from three), dominated the rebounding category, got a double-double from Armando Bacot, and pushed the pace throughout the game. RJ Davis again led the way with his 18 points, but 11 different players scored, 14 played and all contributed something offensively.

3. What a fun series midway through the second half, as Carolina just blitzed the Seminoles with tempo. Much of that was created by Seth Trimble, who then punctuated it with a thunderous tomahawk dunk in traffic. The Tar Heels had a 26-6 edge in fast break points and ran indiscriminately, getting some easy baskets both off dead balls and live balls. Trimble tied his career high with 12 points and when he is playing confidently on offense, Carolina is very hard to guard.

4. Dominating rebounding performance by the Tar Heels. Three-fourths of the way through the game, Harrison Ingram had as many rebounds (nine) as the entire Florida State team. At that juncture, the Tar Heels also had more offensive boards than the ‘Noles had total rebounds. There are multiple ways to illustrate the effort with which Carolina played on Thursday–that’s one of the best. The final rebounding numbers: UNC 48, FSU 22.

5. Elliot Cadeau’s first half numbers weren’t sensational, as he finished with four points and three assists in 14 minutes. But he was instrumental in the game-changing sequence midway through the half, as he went through a stretch of scoring or assisting on four straight Tar Heel baskets, and coupled the statistical production with hard drives into the lane and good passes that created easy buckets–even when they didn’t go in–for the offense. Cadeau also dove on the floor defensively. He was absolutely dynamic during that part of the game. Cadeau finished with eight points and six assists.

6. That was part of an incredibly efficient series of offense for the Tar Heels. Carolina scored on 18 of its final 21 possessions of the half on the way to building a 46-30 lead. Carolina simply played harder than the Seminoles during most of those minutes. 

7. The Heels simply did everything right in that sequence–they ran well (holding a 13-2 edge in fast break points) and pounded it close to the rim consistently, as the points in the paint bulge was 22-10. And the rebounds were astronomical, as the Heels held a 22-6 edge on the boards in the first 20 minutes. Carolina took 31 field goal attempts in the first half. Only five of them did not end with a made basket or an offensive rebound. Five out of 31! That’s perhaps the best testament to the energy the Heels displayed in the first half.

8. And they kept that energy for much of the game. Jalen Washington exemplified it when, with his team leading by 24 with six minutes left, fought to get an offensive rebound off a missed Tar Heel free throw. It’s very easy to take a break in that game situation. Washington–who finished with five boards–wasn’t willing to do that.

9. A few statistical milestones: Davis moved past Antawn Jamison on Carolina’s all-time scoring list, and Bacot now has 83 career double-doubles, which ties him with Derrick Coleman and Lionel Simmons for fifth all-time in the NCAA in that department. Bacot now has six double-doubles in 10 career ACC Tournament games.

10. For all the talk about the advantage the North Carolina schools enjoy when the ACC Tournament is in the Tar Heel state, Carolina’s numbers are actually better out of state. Coming into the afternoon, the Heels had won 72.5% of their ACC Tournament games outside North Carolina and 65.8% in Greensboro, Charlotte and Raleigh.

11. The win makes Carolina 22-0 all-time as a number-one seed in the ACC Tournament quarterfinals. 

12. It’s confusing–and a little weird–for ten people to dress up in colonial outfits when the game is at Cameron Indoor Stadium. But full credit to the four Tar Heel fans who dressed up as George Washington, James Madison (or maybe it was Alexander Hamilton, it’s tough to tell them apart), Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt on Thursday in the nation’s capital. How am I sure it was Teddy Roosevelt? The fourth gentleman appeared to be dressed as a Rough Rider. And then, when they held up signs that read, “Roy Williams is the Man,” the Roosevelt guy’s sign added “In the arena.” That’s just a good costume/sign/basketball mix. Even Freddie Kiger would approve of the historical relevance.

13. The Tar Heels now await the winner of this afternoon’s Pitt-Wake Forest game. That game will be played tomorrow night at 7 p.m., and no matter who the opponent, that squad will feel it needs to win to solidify its NCAA Tournament credentials.

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