- The story of this game is defense. The team has proven their mettle early in the season. They did not back down from an Arkansas team hell-bent on intimidating the Tar Heels. Arkansas shot 37.5 percent on the game and had 19 turnovers.
- There will be games where the shots won’t fall, but solid and consistent defensive effort will keep Carolina in every game.
- As good as the defense was, Arkansas’ defense is equally as good. The Heels took awhile to rise to the occasion and the offense did not really find a rhythm until after the second media timeout of the game. The first made field goal came from Garrison Brooks almost 5:30 into the game and Carolina had five turnovers in the first 6:30.
- Theo Pinson’s first shot was once again a three-pointer. He needs to decide to be aggressive from the outset of every game. However, he also did this:
- Congratulations to Joel Berry who passed Ed Cota to claim 50th on the all-time UNC scoring list. Berry’s 13 points give him 1264 total to tie him for 49th with Bobby Jones. He had a rough shooting day (3-12) but still did his normal work at the free throw line (7-8).
- The junior class continues to shine and be incredibly consistent. Luke Maye set a career high in points (28) and rebounds (16). In the first five games, he has three double-doubles and four 20-point scoring games. Kenny Williams added 19 points, a career high eight boards, and continues to make hustle plays. The two players have scored in double-digits in EVERY game.
- Bill Walton mentioned during the Portland game that he had never called a UNC game before. It was on obvious display in the 2nd half when Arkansas went on a run and he said that Roy was going to call a timeout. Silly Bill. Roy doesn’t call timeouts. He did, however, have the quote of the game: “Arkansas has no chance if they’re just gonna fall on their backside.”
- Several strong runs for Carolina. Down 10-4 in the first half, the Heels went on a 13-0 run and had a 7-0 run later in the first 20 minutes. After a lackadaisical stretch in the second half, Arkansas cut the lead to six (74-68) with 3:32 remaining. From there, UNC closed the game on a 13-0 run for the final tally of 87-68.
- One area of concern: both Theo Pinson and Luke Maye had five turnovers.
- Just a pleasant reminder: this team is still missing Cameron Johnson.
- A match-up with Michigan State on Sunday in the championship game would be a great measuring stick of the Tar Heels’ progression.
.@UNC_Basketball takes the W. They'll play the winner of UConn-Michigan State for the Victory Bracket championship Sunday. pic.twitter.com/xqqRfiSP5O
— PK80 Invitational (@pkinvitational) November 24, 2017
Remember to check in for Quick Hitters after every North Carolina basketball game. Next up is a game against the winner of Michigan State / UConn on Sunday. Tip is at 8:30ET on ESPN.