Can the cursed season just end? For the third time in the last five games, the Tar Heels fell to an opponent at the hands of a final possession shot as their losing streak extended to six games. In a season that has become just a complete nightmare, this game added another horrifying chapter to that book.
The Tar Heels didn’t have a bad night from the field, shooting 42.4% from the field and they held onto the basketball, turning it over just twelve times. Cole Anthony had arguably his best game since he returned to the lineup, dropping a team-high 23 points on 7-16 shooting and going 6-6 from the free throw line. Garrison Brooks followed up a strong performance against Virginia with a 22-point outing, part of what has been a bit of a revival over the course of the past two games.
Even Brandon Robinson’s return wasn’t enough to spark this team to a victory. After suffering a sprained ankle that was expected to keep him out two to four weeks, Robinson would return to the Tar Heel lineup just eleven days after suffering his injury against Boston College. In 25 minutes off the bench, he scored eleven points on 4-8 shooting, including 3-6 from deep.
The thing that cost this team this game, the lack of timely rebounding and untimely turnovers. Leaky Black and Garrison Brooks had two costly live ball turnovers late and Armando Bacot’s moving screen was extremely costly, as well. All of that could have been swallowed if a team that finished with 47 rebounds had been able to come away with a 48th. Instead, Fighting Irish guard Rex Pfleuger came away with his third offensive rebound of the night, kicking it out to an open Nate Laszewski for the game-winning three.
This season is completely off the rails and Roy Williams’ press conference proves that. For just the second time to my knowledge, Roy dropped the actual ‘f-bomb’. That's how bad this season has gotten. As Roy said, though, he’s not giving up and neither is this team. Like them, you simply have to push through and get ready for Louisville.
-Christian Keeling didn’t have quite as strong of a night as he has in recent games, but he still provided some nice scoring for this Tar Heel team at important points of the game. Keeling finished the game with eight points on 3-8 shooting and ripped down four rebounds.
-The Tar Heels continue to struggle turning second chance opportunities into points. Of the team’s 47 total rebounds, 18 came on the offensive end. Those 18 offensive boards resulted in just 16 second points.
-Armando Bacot ripped down ten more rebounds on Monday night after a huge performance on the glass against Virginia, but was non-existent on the offensive end. Bacot finished the night 1-6 from the field, scoring just two points in his 24 minutes on the floor.