Before we get into the Quick Hitters, a little reminder to lift the Tar Heels’ spirits:
UNC lost in the ACCT Semi's in 05 and 09.— Palmer Morris (@palmermorris5) March 11, 2017
Someone wanna remind me what happened those years?
- Well, it wasn’t a Kendall Marshall broken wrist, but Joel Berry going out of this game with 4 fouls with 15:04 left had the same effect. Berry is as indispensable to this team as Marshall was in 2012. When Berry went out, the Heels were up 56-48. Duke tied the game less than five minutes later and then it was anyone’s game.
- Justin Jackson is in something of a shooting slump, going 20-60 from the field in his past four games, including just 6-22 tonight.
- Carolina did an incredible job in the first half of getting the ball inside and dominating the points in the paint. Kennedy Meeks started the game shooting 6-6 and had 10 of the Tar Heels first 12 points.
- Although Carolina dominated the paint it was negated by Duke’s “frees and threes”. Duke made 33 free throws to Carolina’s 14 (+19 for Duke) and 10 three-pointers to Carolina’s five (+15 for Duke). Overcoming a 34-point deficit in those two areas is a tall order whether Joel Berry is in the game or not.
- Isaiah Hicks has had three strong games in a row, scoring 21, 19, and 19. A lot of that scoring has come from the free throw line where Hicks has shot 23-24 in those three games, including making his last 18 straight.
- Theo Pinson had eight assists in this game, including six in the first half. That gives him 21 assists in the past three games.
- Similar to last night against Miami, the Tar Heels executed poorly just before halftime. The Tar Heels were up 13 with 1:46 left in the first half and Duke got the lead down to seven. A big swing came on an ill-advised Brandon Robinson three-pointer which turned into an and-one for Jayson Tatum on the other end.
- I thought Duke’s lack of depth and the minutes played in the past couple days would affect them in a more noticeable way against the deeper Tar Heels. If anything, it was Carolina who wilted down the stretch.
- I won’t point out specific plays or referees, but this game suffered from several questionable calls both ways.
- I’ll say this – if Duke is going to be healthy and play like this, they could be the Duke team we’ve expected to see all year. I would not want to be in their bracket in the NCAA Tournament. There are just too many offensive weapons.