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The Daily Tar Heel

UNC men's basketball dominates NC State on way to 107-56 win

Forward Justin Jackson (44) goes up for a shot over N.C. State defenders Sunday afternoon. 

Forward Justin Jackson (44) goes up for a shot over N.C. State defenders Sunday afternoon. 

The North Carolina men's basketball team dominated the N.C. State Wolfpack from the start Sunday afternoon in Chapel Hill. UNC held a 56-23 at the half and ended the day with a 107-56 win.

What happened?

N.C. State entered Sunday afternoon's matchup as an underdog, but with a 12-3 record and fresh off a conference win against Virginia Tech, the Wolfpack was supposed to put up a good fight against the Tar Heels. 

That fight never materialized on the court. North Carolina scored points by the boatload, destroying N.C. State in transition and finding whatever shot it wanted in the halfcourt. There was an early stretch in the second half when N.C. State attempted to go zone, and UNC shredded it with simple ball movement. 

At the first media timeout, the Tar Heels held a 16-4 lead. With five minutes to go in the first half, UNC was up 43-16. At the half, UNC sprinted into the locker room with a 56-23 lead. 

In the second, N.C. State never put up a fight to try and climb back into it. North Carolina's Aaron Rohlman and Shea Rush entered right after the under-four media timeout, maybe the earliest they've entered the game all season. 

Who stood out?

Sunday's 1 p.m. start was not the original tip-off for the first of two meetings between North Carolina and N.C. State this season. The game was scheduled to be played Saturday evening at 8 p.m., but snow throughout the Triangle forced the postponement of the game till the next afternoon. 

North Carolina's fans, especially the students, still showed up and delivered. The crowd gave the Tar Heels a big-time boost in the game's opening minutes. Also, the reception for North Carolina guard Theo Pinson, who took the court for the first time in the 2016-17 season Sunday, was also very warm. 

Roy Williams has called out his home crowd in the past, but on Sunday, fans at the Smith Center delivered the kind of home court atmosphere Williams wants. 

When was it decided?

A Seventh Woods basket with just over four minutes left in the second half sent the home crowd crazy. It was a run-of-the-mill jumper from the first-year, but it gave UNC 101 points and, thrillingly, biscuits. Sunday afternoon's game was over long before that basket, but it served as an exciting final exclamation point. 

Why does it matter?

Sunday's blowout win was a huge boost to the Tar Heels' confidence. 

North Carolina had a rough start to ACC play, losing on the road to lowly Georgia Tech in Atlanta and struggling in an overtime victory against Clemson. After the loss to the Yellow Jackets in particular, the team's confidence in itself and in each other seemed to be damaged. Scoring over 100 points at home in a rivalry game will do wonders for that confidence. 

Other than an early-season stretch of strong play in the Maui Invitational, North Carolina hasn't really looked like the same team that made it to the national championship game last season. In Sunday's win, the Tar Heels played like that kind of team. 

Where do they play next?

The Tar Heels face off against Wake Forest on Wednesday evening in Winston Salem. Tip-off is scheduled for 8 p.m. 


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