GREENSBORO — This wasn’t the team that put together a 12-0 win streak.
This wasn’t the team that defeated No. 7 Duke and slammed Wake Forest for a 33-point win.
And this wasn’t the team that’s stayed in the top-25 for the last three weeks after a seven-week hiatus.
No, Friday afternoon in Greensboro, a different North Carolina team showed up to the quarterfinals of the ACC tournament, one reminiscent of the teams that showed up in Birmingham, Ala. and at the Smith Center when Belmont came to town.
With the loss to No. 3-seed Duke ending their 12-game win streak nearly a week ago, it seemed as though the fourth-seeded Tar Heels could hit the reset button and go back to the original recipe for success.
But instead of rediscovering its winning ways, No. 15 UNC fell 80-75 to unranked fifth-seed Pittsburgh.
“It’s extremely disappointing to play the way we did the first 30, 32 minutes of the game,” coach Roy Williams said. “You have to congratulate Pittsburgh because they made us play that way. They were really effective. They had a great sense of urgency.”
For 30 minutes, UNC turned in a vintage UNC performance in the worst way possible — stagnant offense, turnovers galore, poor rebounding.
But like against the Blue Devils on Saturday, the Tar Heels found their rhythm late in the game. Again, UNC simply mounted its comeback too late.