ACC Basketball

Roy Williams should have played “Hack-a-For”

Melina Vastola / USA TODAY Sports

A long time ago when I was a young man, still learning the ways of your world, I hooked up with one of my coworkers. She had recently gotten out of a long relationship and basically invited herself over to my apartment. We made out, we goofed off, but I did not sleep with her, even though I felt like I could. I actually liked her and wanted to date her, so I decided to be a gentleman. The following day, I realized she had planned it to be a one-night only affair. My point…hindsight is a bitch.

Last night, North Carolina was in overtime with Duke, having just blown a nine-point lead in the game’s final moments. It was clear the Tar Heels were in trouble. They were turning it over, missing free throws (damn you shot clock operators!) and worse yet, they suddenly couldn’t stop Duke on the defensive end.

At this point, I wrote this…

And then later…

Yes, I believe that Carolina should have hacked Duke’s Jahlil Okafor and made him hit free throws.

I know it’s risky to give any player a free open look from the charity stripe, I get it. Yet, I still believe that’s what Roy Williams should have done in overtime, especially when the Tar Heels had a small lead.

Okafor is not a good free throw shooter, hitting about 57% going into the game. In previous contests, Coach K has benched his big man to avoid him going to the FT line. Now here he is, on a bum ankle, having going 0-6 from the free throw line; his last two were brutal. After his fifth miss, he slapped the floor in frustration. The final miss, he nearly air balled it. He was rattled on that line.

Yet, when in the post, he owned Kennedy Meeks and again, Carolina couldn’t stop anyone at that point, as the Blue Devils would score 22 points in the final 7:38 of the game. If it was me, I’m putting in Jackie Simmons and fouling Okafor if he touches the ball.

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