GREENSBORO, N.C. — Throughout the course of the year, Caleb Love has been the flashiest competitor for the Tar Heels.
From 3-point goggles to high skipping down the court, Love has a fully loaded arsenal of post-bucket celebrations. But in North Carolina’s 85-61 triumph over Boston College in the ACC tournament, Love never unveiled a celebratory gesture en route to scoring a game-high 22 points — nor did he want to.
“I was just trying to win the game,” Love said. “All the other stuff (antics), it wasn’t needed.”
On North Carolina’s second offensive possession of the game, Love beat an Eagle backdoor to score UNC’s first points. After the layup seamlessly banked in, the St. Louis, Mo. native calmly jogged down the floor.
Minutes later, Love drifted toward the left corner after UNC corralled an offensive rebound. After the ensuing kick out, the junior guard canned his first shot from distance.
Again, Love silently trotted back to play defense.
Every made basket — whether it was a creative drive to the hoop or long-range connection — was followed by the same monotone demeanor from North Carolina’s most polarizing guard. Not a chirp or even a clap of self-approval came from Love during the entire first period.
After swishing a 3-point shot minutes out of the halftime break, Love appeared to be in the process of unleashing his first extracurricular of the night. Instead, he just pointed to graduate wing Leaky Black, showing appreciation to the Tar Heel who assisted on his third made triple of the contest.
“(Love) was definitely really locked in,” graduate forward Pete Nance said. “He’s definitely one of our leaders and somebody that everybody looks to. Him being locked in, we had no choice but to follow suit.”