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In its ACC opener at Virginia, the North Carolina men’s basketball team proved it had some fight in it. But in Thursday’s game at home against Virginia Tech, the Tar Heels made this toughness a habit.
The Daily Tar Heel’s sports desk grades the basketball season so far, including frontcourt, backcourt, bench and freshmen.
In the North Carolina men’s basketball team’s ACC opener at Virginia, the Tar Heels showed off their toughness, using lockdown defense to make a second-half comeback and pull out a 62-56 victory. Tonight at home against Virginia Tech, UNC will have to prove its consistency.
Go big or go home. It’s an aphorism repeated by UNC-Chapel Hill students on Franklin Street numerous times each weekend. And though the slogan has justified more than a few ill-advised decisions over the years, it was good advice for the UNC men’s basketball team during halftime of its 62-56 win at Virginia on Saturday afternoon.
CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. — Basketball games that come down to the wire are typically decided by the team that wants it more. North Carolina’s ACC season opener against Virginia on Saturday was not one of those games.
CHARLOTTESVILLE — North Carolina fought back from a 10-point second-half deficit to beat Virginia 62-56 in the Tar Heels’ ACC opener. Junior forward Tyler Zeller hit two sets of clutch free-throws to tie the game at 50-50 and his team took it from there.
The North Carolina men’s basketball team hasn’t had seven players score in double figures in the same game since it pounded Manhattan in 1985. Sunday night, this year’s Tar Heels did the 1985-86 squad one better, as eight double-digit scorers helped the Tar Heels trounce St. Francis (Pa.) at the Smith Center, 103-54.
NEW YORK — Inclement weather couldn’t stop the North Carolina men’s basketball team from showing up at its Tuesday-night game against Rutgers — and once the Tar Heels took the floor in New York City, the Scarlet Knights couldn’t do much to stop them, either. After waiting out two days of flight delays in Chapel Hill, the Tar Heels found Madison Square Garden downright cozy, thumping the Scarlet Knights, 78-55.
NEW YORK — Upon his arrival home for Christmas last week, Dexter Strickland breathed a deep sigh and had three words for family members waiting at home in Rahway, N.J. “It’s been awhile,” his mother Sherrone Helsey recounted her son saying, upon stepping through the door.
Three days after scoring a season-high 18 points against Texas, North Carolina junior Dexter Strickland set a new career mark with 19 points to lead the Tar Heels past William & Mary, 85-60, Tuesday night at the Smith Center.
GREENSBORO — North Carolina did not make enough shots down the stretch against Texas, and it ultimately doomed them in their 78-76 loss to the Longhorns in Greensboro Coliseum. Nursing a five-point advantage with five and a half minutes left, a few well-timed baskets or defensive stops could have sent the Longhorns home with a loss, but the Tar Heels went three for their last eight down the stretch. “Texas made shots,” John Henson said.
GREENSBORO — Texas coach Rick Barnes admitted he had a “phobia of playing North Carolina in late-game situations.” But in the final seconds in a virtual home match for UNC, his freshman guard Cory Joseph had no fear, scoring the final bucket for Texas’ 78-76 win against UNC on Saturday.
As has become tradition over the last few years, Larry Drew II and his father, current Atlanta Hawks coach Larry Drew, hold telephone chats after almost every one of the younger’s games. Recently, father has impressed one primary theme upon son: “Attack.” Employing what he dubs his “unfair advantage” — his father’s advice — Drew put together his finest performance of UNC’s young season to fuel the Tar Heels’ 96-91 victory against Long Beach State at the Smith Center on Saturday.
The year 2010 was not quite the worst calendar year in North Carolina’s storied history on the hardwood — but it was close.
Dexter Strickland went to the line with six seconds remaining after his team made eight consecutive free throws in the previous 80 seconds. The sophomore guard made his first to put his team up by two while Kentucky had zero timeouts. He clanged the second shot off the rim.
In the final four minutes of North Carolina’s 75-73 victory against No. 10 Kentucky at the Smith Center, the Wildcats lost the battle of attrition as four of their 10 players in uniform fouled out.