To beat UNC we needed to play our best and hope they had an off night. Neither happened. The second half was better, but every time we looked like we might make it interesting the Tar Heels broke away again. The issues: some familiar -- the defense inside; and the unexpected -- a cold first half for Rice and Dudley. Here are my thoughts:
-- John Oates' ACC Tournament. Points in the first game and 8 defensive rebounds against UNC. Oates will be remain a liability for the majority of his career, but give the kid credit. He played very well for two days. He was obviously overmatched against Wright, but still a very productive outing for the big oaf.
-- Sean Marshall's all around game. No show Friday. Great day Saturday. Who knows? The turnovers were messy, but his offense kept us in the game and he hit the boards too.
-- Offensive ball movement. It is a shame we didn’t score, because the guys moved the ball really well. Many of the looks were quality. Dudley got space. Marshall came off many curls. Roche knew where to go. The shots just weren’t falling.
-- Offensive rebounding. It was a bizarre game. We usually struggle with defensive rebounding. Not an issue Saturday: we had 16 defensive boards for the Heels 15 offensive boards. However, we got killed on the offensive boards – which is usually our strength. The Heels grabbed 25 defensive rebounds for our 9 offensive boards thus limiting our scoring. Those boards also sparked UNC’s transition.
-- Rotation for the transition. Gman broke it down on the regional broadcast that when Rice drives there is no one back to slow the UNC break. Simple but true observation. Roche or Marshall need to move over when Tyrese starts driving.
I am not heart broken over this. The Miami win was needed. This would have been nice but I didn’t expect much. If the shots had dropped things might have been different, but not a terrible game.