ACC Basketball

Carolina Comeback Falls Short

Karl B DeBlaker/AP

You have to hand it to the Tar Heels…when they lose, they make it entertaining.

Down 20 at the seven-minute mark, North Carolina slowly rallied, first with a 7-0 run during a 45-second span, then using a brilliant full-court press to force turnovers and create a 15-4 run around the three-minute mark. However, down five with a 51 seconds on the clock, Marcus Paige tried to dribble between two defenders and fumbled away Carolina’s last hope.

North Carolina was actually in comeback mode from the very beginning, as Pittsburgh went on a 17-2 run early to open up a 27-13 lead. It took the rest of the half for Carolina to get the deficit to a respectable 10 points. Of course, life could have been easier if any of the Carolina big guys could have put a body on Talib Zanna.

The Panthers senior forward owned the Tar Heels in the paint, grabbing a stunning 21 rebounds before fouling out. Ten of his rebounds were offensive, helping him to 19 points. This was his sixth straight game where he’s scored double digit points. Senior James Robinson chipped in with 19, getting to the free throw line 12 times.

For Pittsburgh, the victory finally gives them a signature win over a ranked opponent, which should now guarantee them a NCAA invite (if they hadn’t already).

As for North Carolina, what can be said that hasn’t been said? They’ll enter the NCAA Tourney riding a two-game losing streak and will probably fall to a five-seed. For whatever reason, this team can’t seem to play great basketball until their backs are against a wall. Marcus Paige can’t be great until the second half. They’re like a basketball version of a Jerry Bruckheimer movie. Why can’t this team get that desperate feeling early in a game, so they can avoid actual desperate situations?

STAT THAT MAY ONLY INTEREST ME: The two teams combined for 73 free throws (yet for some odd reason the refs had trouble calling travels).

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>