Lucas: Boston College Quick Reactions – University of North Carolina Athletics

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By Adam Lucas

1. Carolina did what it had to do and secured an 85-61 win over Boston College in the second round of the ACC tournament. Carolina has now won 16 of the last 17 against the Eagles.

2. As before, the big story between now and tomorrow’s 7pm game will become the strength of Armando Bacot’s ankle. The Tar Heel big man twisted his left ankle in the first half and went to the dressing room for the rest of the first half. He came back and played the first 5:33 of the second half but was clearly limited and lacked momentum. Carolina will need as much of Bacot as possible against Virginia (the graphic at the end of the game on ESPN where UNC faced Clemson was wrong). He had ten points and six boards in 18 minutes against BC.

3. Carolina ran terrifically offensively in the first half. It’s pretty simple: shots went in. And as you know by now if you’ve been watching this team, they’re hard to beat when shots come in. Caleb Love led the Heels with 22 points in 9-on-20 from the field, and RJ Davis added 18 in 7-on-12. The Carolina offensive also showed 10-to-23 from the three-point line, a healthy 43.5 percent.

4. As is so often the case with this year’s team, the good offensive led to more intensity on the defensive. After a few intense days of practice after the Duke game, the Tar Heels were fully defended defensively and challenged nearly every pass and shot from Boston College in the first 20 minutes.

5. Pete Nance added an element of rim protection to Carolina’s defense. Nance had four blocks Wednesday, with a couple of aggressive plays that denied what seemed like an easy Eagle basket. Nance now has ten blocks in the last four games. Before that, he had 10 blocks in 17 ACC games. Nance was also effective offensively and did all his work in midfield where he had ten points.

6. A defensive adjustment in the first half changed the flow of the game. Makai Ashton-Langford started the game 3-3 from the field and went through all three. But then the Tar Heels switched from Leaky Black to Ashton-Langford, and he was just 1 for 3 for the rest of the half and one for his next six as Carolina built the largest lead the Tar Heels had in an ACC game . Ashton-Langford didn’t score a field goal until the second half with five minutes left in the game.

7. On Wednesday night, something very unexpected happened: The Tar Heels fired from a zone at Boston College. The Eagles attempted a 1-3-1 look midway through the first half, but a quick offensive rebound from Carolina that resulted in a basket and a three-pointer quickly convinced Earl Grant of that bad idea. In the second half, the Tar Heels weren’t as successful against the Zone as they stagnated on offense. Of course, a zone against Virginia tomorrow night won’t be an issue.

8. Rough night for Puff Johnson, but a story that comes up very late in the season is the emergence of Dontrez Styles. The Kinston native wasn’t flashy, but he didn’t hurt Carolina off the bench either. Wednesday night’s highlight for Styles was a beautiful pass to Nance for an assist, and he added a baseline drive for a slam with two minutes left.

9. Styles was part of a UNC bank contingent that gave the heels some solid minutes. D’Marco Dunn hit a couple of threes, Seth Trimble hit with a drive and the tar heel bank contributed 17 points. As everyone knows it takes performance off the bench to win four games in four days. We even had a sighting of Biscuit Boys – or at least partial Biscuit Boys, as (ridiculous) rules limit the number of players who can dress up and Duwe Farris and Beau Maye were in street clothes in the stands – at the last minute.

10. This year marks the first season of an ACC tournament seat change. Traditionally, all of a school’s tickets were grouped by section, so there is a block of seats for each school. But this year each school got a few cards in the “good” sections, leading to a very different emotional arena.

11. Despite the move, it’s still Greensboro that still feels right (and was a fitting place for Jim Boeheim to practice his last game). Next year, the ACC tournament returns to Washington, DC (which also happens to be the site of Carolina’s last ACC tournament title in 2016). Subsequent locations have not been announced.

12. Officials carried pink whistles in tribute to Roger Ayers’ 22-year-old daughter, who was recently diagnosed with thyroid cancer. The condition is believed to have been recognized early.


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