UNC win 75-73 down the stretch
UNC win 75-73 down the stretch
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With the North Carolina basketball team facing a 50-45 College of Charleston lead with less than 13 minutes remaining, a sense of dismay set in among the Smith Center attendees. The game seemed on track for another College of Charleston upset, and panic set in across most of the arena, except for UNC’s players.
North Carolina’s men’s basketball team left for the Puerto Rico Tip-Off tournament last week playing with a confidence that resembled past teams coached by Roy Williams. UNC had beaten its two opponents by an average of 29 points, and the Tar Heels were one of the top teams in the tournament.
Ranked No. 8 in the country entering the weekend, the North Carolina men’s basketball team dropped two straight contests to unranked foes in the Puerto Rico Tip-Off Tournament. UNC lost to Minnesota 72-67 on Friday night and followed up that performance with a 72-65 loss to Vanderbilt on Sunday. “I don’t like being here in the scenario, to say the least, after losing two nights in a row, but it’s what it is,” UNC coach Roy Williams said in a press release.
The UNC men’s basketball team handed Hofstra a 107-63 beatdown in Puerto Rico on Thursday night. Freshman forward Harrison Barnes led the way for UNC, scoring all of his 19 points in the first half and shooting 4-5 from downtown.
In a game that was billed as Harrison Barnes’ introduction to North Carolina basketball fans, a returning starter stole the show in UNC’s 80-66 win against Lipscomb. Even though Barnes impressed with his 14-point, four-rebound effort, John Henson was the key. He scored 10 points, but he was far better on the defensive end, swatting seven shots and collecting 17 rebounds.
Almost as important as what North Carolina basketball coach Roy Williams said in his final media session before the season’s first game is what he did not say. He didn’t warn that his team will not be as good as its preseason ranking, like he did last year.
It probably wasn’t what he had in mind for his first game in a North Carolina uniform. Barnes, the first freshman selected as an AP preseason All-American and seen by many as the face of this year’s UNC squad, had a horrific introduction in the Tar Heels’ 108-67 exhibition against visiting Barton College.
There’s a new sheriff in town in Clemson, S.C., and he’s not just taking over another program. He’s taking over the O.P.P. — Oliver Purnell’s Posse. Much like the Clemson students will have to reorganize under a new nickname at Littlejohn Coliseum, new head coach Brad Brownell will be forced to merge his teaching format with the honed styles of Purnell’s players.
The 2010-11 season looks to be a good one for the University of Miami despite losing its top two scorers from last season. The most acute of those losses is Dwayne Collins, the 60th pick in April’s NBA Draft, who led the team in points, rebounds and field goal percentage last season.
In his first season with the Virginia Cavaliers, coach Tony Bennett saw improvement with his team winning five more games than the previous year. But injuries and departures of key players could leave the Cavaliers dangerously thin come opening day. Junior guard Sammy Zeglinski will miss up to eight weeks after surgery to repair cartilage in his left knee.
For the past three years, the Virginia Tech Hokies have come close to appearing in the NCAA Tournament, yet were instead sent to the NIT. This year could be different.
A season ago, N.C. State found itself knocking on the cellar door of the ACC, finishing 11th in the conference and settling for a second-round exit in the National Invitational Tournament. But as a promising recruiting class steps in to bolster the Wolfpack roster, the disappointment of last year has been replaced by an unmistakable buzz.
Last April, Gordon Hayward’s half-court heave rimmed out as time expired and Duke held off Butler to win its fourth national championship. This fall the Blue Devils begin where they finished as the preseason No.
A team can be stacked down low, replete with a future lottery draft pick and a cadre of talented big men, but if the guards cannot get them the ball, scoring proves difficult. That was the case for the 2009-10 Tar Heels, as they limped into the NIT after a disappointing conference season, eventually losing in the NIT final.
When Travis and David Wear decided to transfer from North Carolina within two months of the Tar Heels losing leading post scorers Deon Thompson and Ed Davis to graduation and the NBA draft, coach Roy Williams found himself desperately in need of frontcourt help for a team suddenly missing 68 percent of its low-post scoring.
Moral victories just won’t cut it anymore. Not for a school that has been to the Final Four 18 times. Not for a coach already enshrined in the Basketball Hall of Fame. Not for a rabid fanbase two years removed from a national championship. That was a lesson the players of the North Carolina men’s basketball team learned the hard way last year.