What follows is a non-comprehensive list of all the things that happened between tipoff of UNC basketball's 96-83 loss to Georgia Tech and the Tar Heels' first field goal of the game:
The Yellow Jackets scored 30 points; Frank Ocean (probably) released a new album; Roy Williams called a time out; UNC fans (probably) wondered, 'What's the opposite of a biscuit?'; reserve guard and former JV player Robbie O'Han saw the floor; someone (probably) watched the entirety of The Irishman.
After all those things happened, and more than 13 minutes of game time elapsed, a Garrison Brooks hook shot finally ended the drought. North Carolina missed its first 15 shots from every which way — in the paint, from deep, at the elbow, in the corner — before Brooks' bucket. The Dean Smith Center crowd went into a frenzy.
North Carolina had just cut the lead to 22.
To that point on Saturday night, the entire UNC offense, still without first-year guard Cole Anthony, looked like it had been swarmed by a hive of bees. The Yellow Jackets, a game below .500 entering tonight, went up 19-2, then 27-4 (a lead head coach Josh Pastner admitted was "surreal"), then 34-10. Meanwhile, the Tar Heels were hitting the panic button.
"We definitely (freaked out)," forward Justin Pierce said. "I think everyone was kinda shocked, and we started taking horrible shots. We started turning the ball over."
North Carolina sank seven of its last eight shots to end the half, but still trailed 47-27 at the break to mark UNC's largest halftime deficit ever in the Smith Center. On a night when Roy Williams could have passed his mentor in all-time wins, the head coach admitted he had a bad feeling before the game even started: "I said something to our staff [about], 'I don't like our attitude.'"
"I thought we were ready to play," senior guard Brandon Robinson says. "But Coach knows us better than we know ourselves sometimes, so if he felt that way, then we weren't ready."
The start of the second half was a different story — the Tar Heels ripped off a 16-5 run to cut the deficit to nine — but UNC was never able to clean up the mess from the first 20 minutes. Every time the lead was threatened, GT's Moses Wright (22 points) or Jose Alvarado (25 points, 4-6 from 3-point range) were there for a timely bucket. It was the kind of shotmaking UNC has sorely lacked all season, but especially sans Anthony.