top of page

Heel Tough Blog: UNC vs. Miami Preview

The world needs a little more love right now and Duke got more than they probably wanted to last night. I don't know whether Love was eager to prove to Duke made a mistake by not pursuing him harder or what but he came to play. Despite Duke’s record this was probably our biggest game of the year and Love had his biggest game. Love scored 25 points, went 4-5 from 3, 7 assists and 5 turnovers which were not as noticeable considering his other stats. I think it was huge that Love’s first points were a “put him on a poster” and 1, break away dunk. Sometimes you just need to see the ball go through the basket and Love did that in an emphatic way. He went on to make the free throw. I liked the way he aggressively attacked the basket and pushed the ball. Some of his drives could have easily been and 1s, but considering Duke had more fouls then us in cameron, I won't complain too much. All 5 of our starters were in double figures: Bacot had 16, Brooks 12, Walton had 12 on 4-4 from 3, Love had 25 and Black had 12 with a crucial 3-4 on free throws down the stretch. Sharpe added 11 pts and 9 rebounds. Unc shot 53% from the field and a season best 66.7% from 3 and a dismal 59.1% from the free throw line. Unc and Duke were even on points in the paint at 36 and second chance points at 15. Points off turnovers and fast break points were huge. Unc had 28 points off turnovers to Duke’s 20 and a season high 27 fast break points to Duke’s 15.


Carolina leads the series, 26-8, including wins in each of the last five games.

Roy Williams is 22-8 against Miami ( 2-1 at Kansas and 19-7 at UNC).

Last game against Miami in the Smith Center was a 94-71 win.


Carolina won 67-65 in Coral Gables on January 5th.

Platek hit a running jumper with 3 seconds left.

Each team had 3 players in double figures including Black, Walton and sharpe for the Heels and Timberlake, Brooks, and Olaniyi for the Canes.

Both teams shot around 34% from the field.


UNC: 12-6 (7-4 in ACC) coming off of a win against Duke

Miami: 7-11 (3-10 in ACC) coming off of overtime loss against Virginia Tech

The Tar Heels take on the Miami Hurricanes Monday night in the Smith Center. The game is on ESPN. This game has the potential for a hangover game from Duke or a trap game looking ahead to a road matchup with UVA on Saturday night. The Canes took the Hokies to overtime in their last game. They are shorthanded, but are fiery. Larranaga has these guys playing hard.

They are plenty much down to a 7 man rotation. Walker and Brooks start down low. Wong, Olaniyi and McGusty start in the back court. Gak rotates in as a forward, and Beverly rotates in the backcourt. Cross has left the program and Timberlake hasn’t played since the Syracuse game on 1/19. Both played in the first matchup. Lykes is still out and has only played 2 games the whole season. Still don’t take this team lightly. McGusty shoots 41% from 3 and was not available in the first matchup. He can get hot and scored 18 against Virginia Tech. Brooks and Olaniyi had double digits in the first matchup. Olaniyi had 19 against Virginia Tech. Brooks had 10. Wong didn’t have a great game in the first matchup outside of the high-arcing fadeaway jumper that preceded Platek’s game winning running jumper. He had 19 points against Virginia Tech. We still need to contain him. Expect the starters to play the majority of the game as they don’t get much production off the bench.

Miami beat us 32-24 in the points in the paint category in the first matchup and were +2 in the points off turnovers category. We had 20 turnovers in the first matchup and turnovers are still a problem. We had 16 turnovers against Duke, but were able to capitalize on Duke’s turnovers. We don’t need to let Miami hang around by being sloppy and giving them easy baskets. Same thing with free throws. Our free throw shooting has been horrendous the last couple of games. 13-22 against Duke and the story is the same if you check the box score for the Clemson game and several games prior to that. We can’t give up points. Turnovers and missed free throws are wasted possessions. When you work hard for an entire offensive set, get the ball down low and then don’t get any points off of it, it’s deflating especially in a game where we may be struggling offensively. Our free throw struggles are something I don't quite understand. There aren’t any fans to distract you. For the most part, all the gyms are empty. I would imagine these guys are hitting free throws in practice, but for some reason the TV cameras get turned on and they can’t hit the broad side of a barn. And then that switch gets turned back on at the end of the game as we saw against Duke. It’s something I don’t quite understand.

The Miami game is a must win game as a lot of the remaining games now are. We can’t afford any bad losses. The Duke game isn’t going to be seen as a good win and didn’t do much to solidify our NCAA tournament resume. Miami would be a bad loss. We will have our chances going down the stretch to get some quality wins though. After the Miami game, we play UVA on the road and then are home against Virginia Tech and Louisville. We also get a second shot at FSU on February 27.


bottom of page