The scoreboard read 29-18 — the worst half the No. 15 North Carolina men's basketball team had put together all season, tied for the worst half under Coach Roy Williams since he arrived in Chapel Hill in 2003.
The Tar Heels had shot an abysmal 7-for-25 from the field. They had been outrebounded by the Wolfpack 25-17. And, with just 18 points, they had matched the Smith Center's lowest scoring output ever in a half. That hadn't happened since 1996.
So midway through his team's 58-46 loss to an unranked N.C. State (17-11, 8-7 ACC) on Tuesday, Williams had some words for his players as they entered the locker room during the break.
The man who has at times questioned the toughness of his Tar Heels, now questioned their preparation.
"Coach has so much confidence in us," freshman wing Justin Jackson said. "(But) he came into the locker room and told us maybe we aren't ready for it."
"It" meant this matchup with N.C. State, a team Williams has never lost to in Chapel Hill as North Carolina's head coach. That's what Jackson said Williams questioned in that moment after the first half.
And Williams had good reason.
UNC took a 2-0 lead 22 seconds into the game and would never lead again for the remainder of the game. They'd tie it at 4-4 just over four minutes in, but once N.C. State took over, it was a downward spiral for the Tar Heels.
Kennedy Meeks started the half off 0-for-4 under defensive pressure from BeeJay Anya, who amassed a monstrous six blocks on the evening. Sloppy sequences unfolded one right after another: throwing passes out of bounds, committing careless fouls, allowing the Wolfpack to beat the shot clock with baskets on two separate occasions.