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Heel Tough Blog: ACC Tournament Second Round - Boston College Recap

Valdosta Daily Times

Carolina started to play in the ACC Tournament tonight, needing a win to keep their NCAA Tournament hopes alive, and all they did was go out and rout a scrappy Boston College squad, 85-61, in arguably their best performance in the ACC this season. The game was at 10-10 early in the first half, before UNC went on a 16-2 run, to take control of the game, and never looked back, as Carolina led by as many as 27. Carolina shot an efficient 55% from the field, including 42% from behind the arc, as four starters scored double figures. Caleb Love led the way with 22 points, on 9-20 shooting, and his backcourt mate, R.J. Davis, added 18, on 7-12 shooting. Both Bacot and Nance both posted 10 points each to round out the production from the starters. Defensively, Carolina held BC to 45% shooting, and after Makai Ashton-Langford started 3-3, Leaky Black took on the defensive assignment, and he finished 6-12 for the contest. Quinten Post came off the bench for the Eagles and added 13 points off the bench.

Armando Bacot left the game with under five minutes left in the first half after he turned his ankle going for an offensive rebound. Bacot, who would not return in the first stanza, did play in the second half, and given Carolina’s margin, was limited to 18 minutes on the night, scoring 10 points, and grabbing 6 rebounds. His head coach, Hubert Davis said in the postgame, that Bacot told him this ankle injury isn’t as severe as the ones he suffered against Kansas in the national championship game last year, or even earlier this year in a loss at Virginia.

Carolina wasn’t going to improve their NCAA Tournament hopes with a win tonight, but a loss would’ve been the nail in the coffin for their postseason chances. Not only did Carolina secure an impressive victory, but may have found the recipe to a long stay in Tournament Town, needing at least one or two more wins to feel better about hearing their names called on Selection Sunday:

  1. Bacot’s Health: Every Tar Heel fan's stomach was in knots after seeing Bacot exit the game, but seeing him on the floor and the second half, combined with his comments after the game, makes you feel better about his availability to play tomorrow night. Bacot once said that he would die for the University, and the program, and while we hope it doesn’t come to that, it appears Bacot is destined to test that claim, as injuries won’t leave his side.

  2. Shot Selection/Ball Movement: You could make the argument that the only bad shot UNC took tonight was the three that Tyler Nickel took, which led to Bacot's injury. Carolina started the game off attacking the rim, and that opened up the offense, as they knocked down 10-24 triples. Not only was the shot selection crisp, but the ball movement was pristine as they handed out 16 assists, on 34 made baskets. Every starter registered at least two assists, as the unselfishness was at an all-time high this season.

  3. Bench: Carolina got 23 points from their bench, led by 8 points from D’Marco Dunn. Dontrez Styles added 5 points, with Seth Trimble scoring 4, along with Justin McKoy. If Carolina is going to go on a deep run in Greensboro, they are going to need contributions from the bench, and they got that, which allowed Hubert Davis to limit the minutes of his starters.

  4. Special Teams: Carolina also dominated the rebounding margin, 33-26, including 23-19 on the defensive glass, and 10-7 on the offensive glass. Those 10 offensive rebounds, led to 16 second-chance points for the Tar Heels. Furthermore, UNC won the points in the paint 36-28, and fastbreak points 5-2. When Carolina wins those areas on the box score, they typically win the game.

Up Next: Carolina is back in action tomorrow night against Virginia, in the first quarterfinal of the night session. The game is set to tip at 7 PM on ESPN.


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