banner
Joe Ovies

Talking Points: Delayed gratification for Heels

Posted February 21

1. Duke didn't have an answer for North Carolina in the most critical moments of Thursday night's sloppy, yet entertaining rivalry showdown in Chapel Hill. The Blue Devils compounded their defensive issues and diminished energy with bad offense, allowing the Tar Heels to slowly take control  of the game and sweep the leg in the closing minutes.

Duke went 11-for-31 from the field in the second half, including a stretch that lasted nearly 10 minutes where they missed 13 straight. The Devils missed layups, made only three of their 13 attempts from beyond the arc, turned the ball over seven times and mustered .829 points per possession.

Ultimately, North Carolina's defensive effort and overall intensity were the differences in the game. Credit to Roy Williams for making the right adjustments, utilizing zones to stifle Duke's typically efficient offense. 

2. North Carolina had various contributions from the eight players who clocked double-digit minutes on the court. Whether it was James Michael McAdoo pulling down 10 rebounds to go along with a handful of key drives to the basket or Desmond Hubert's efforts on defense, the Tar Heels got a little something from everyone.

The Tar Heels who truly stood out in the victory over Duke were Marcus Paige and Leslie McDonald.

Duke clamped down on Paige in the first half, with the sophomore going scoreless on only two shot attempts and turning it over three times. Yet Paige has developed the uncanny ability to overcome these shaky starts with wizardry in the second half.

McDonald found himself in a zone early on, going 5-of-7 for 11 points in the first half and finishing the game with a team-high 21 points. Make no mistake, North Carolina needed this kind of performance out of the senior, and he came through in a huge way.

3. Duke absorbed North Carolina's initial start to the game, and the general feeling was that the Blue Devils would pull away after halftime. And why not? Rodney Hood was unstoppable and Quinn Cook was engaged. Duke was also getting an aggressive performance out of Marshall Plumlee.

Then it all went away from the Blue Devils in the second half.

"We didn't have life," Mike Krzyzewski said after the game. "No matter what we did in a timeout, we just didn't have that spark. The anger. The emotion. The thing you have to have to match their crowd and their team."

Krzyzewski believed North Carolina had "it" and his Duke squad didn't have "whatever the hell that thing is."

4. The Tar Heels started off the game 1-of-8 from the free throw line. The misses were atrocious enough to create a palpable tension inside the Smith Center every time they went to the stripe. After J.P. Tokoto made consecutive free throws, the crowd let out a sarcastic cheer that was mixed with nervous relief. The Heels managed to settle down abd didn't let their previous issues from the line hurt the rest of the game, as they converted 19 of their next 23 attempts.

5. [Obligatory comment about terrible ACC officiating.]

6. For all the hand wringing over last week's postponement of the game, it actually added to the atmosphere Thursday night in Chapel Hill. So when North Carolina claimed victory once the final buzzer sounded, it wasn't a surprise to see students release that pent up energy and rush the court.

Social media instantaneously shamed North Carolina students for taking to the floor. "Act like you've been there before," was a common refrain. Others used the opportunity to concern troll over safety issues.

These are probably the same people who glued their LEGO sets together because they hate fun.

At some point older fans and media will realize students really don't care about the unwritten rules of court storming or the stodgy opinions of a generation that already had their time on campus. Let them enjoy their youth and the amusing stupidity that goes along with it.

7 Comments

This blogpost is closed for comments.

Newest First
View all
  • 4tarheels Feb 21, 5:48 a.m.

    Ole Roy outcoached K with that zone defense and K had nothing to counter it with. GO HEELS!

  • 4tarheels Feb 21, 5:49 a.m.

    Everyone should be thanking UNC for this win. Now, Duke and Syracuse will be licking their wounds going into Saturday's contest. Should make for more drama and excitement. GO HEELS!

  • Toddler10-21 Feb 21, 5:50 a.m.

    Yes he did. Even the defenseive stopper/glue to the team didn't know what to do besides foul as he usually does!!

  • GunnyGoesArrrgh Feb 21, 6:40 a.m.

    It was great fun to see two HOF coaches give this game their all, just as the players from both teams did. Very happy the Heels came out on top.

    As for the fans rushing the court and Franklin Street - good for them - it's what rivals do in a victory.

  • Boot-the-DC-Tyrant Feb 21, 10:57 a.m.

    Was glad to see the life come into the Heels for the win. they looked good last night!

    For the record, yes, I hope Duke lays a shallacking on Syracuse tomorrow.

  • dooksucks01 Feb 21, 11:25 a.m.

    "These are probably the same people who glued their LEGO sets together because they hate fun."

    LOL, he just mentioned and admonished 903.

  • jmcdow2792 Feb 21, 1:13 p.m.

    Why would we think Duke will have it tomorrow? They haven't had it for two plus games even though they won at BC.

TV
  • NFL: NY Giants at Washington

    Thursday at 8:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • ACC: Western Michigan at Virginia Tech

    Saturday at 12:25 pm on WRAL-TV

  • SEC: Arkansas at Texas A&M

    Saturday at 3:30 pm on WRAL-TV

Scoreboard
Local
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
CAR
 
Final
NYY 5
BAL 0
Final
CLE 0
KAN 2
Final
TOR 14
SEA 4
Final
DET 0
CWS 2
Final
ATL 0
PIT 1
Final
TEX 4
HOU 3
Final
CHC 0
STL 8
Final
MIN 2
ARI 6
Final
OAK 8
ANA 4
Final
SDP 1
COL 0
13th
LOS 2
SFG 3
 
7:05pm Tonight
NYY
BAL
 
7:05pm Tonight
CLE
KAN
7:05pm Tonight
WAS
NYM
 
7:07pm Tonight
TOR
SEA
 
7:08pm Tonight
DET
CWS
 
7:10pm Tonight
CIN
MIL
 
7:10pm Tonight
MIA
PHI
 
7:10pm Tonight
ATL
PIT
 
7:10pm Tonight
BOS
TAM
 
8:05pm Tonight
TEX
HOU
 
8:05pm Tonight
CHC
STL
 
8:10pm Tonight
MIN
ARI
 
10:05pm Tonight
OAK
ANA
 
10:10pm Tonight
SDP
COL
 
10:10pm Tonight
LOS
SFG
 
Final
NYI 3
OTT 2
 
6:00pm Monday
NYI
OTT
 
Final
PIT 1
DET 2
Final
NYR 4
NJD 5
Final
PHI 2
TOR 3
 
Final
PHI 5
WAS 4
Final
WIN 2
MIN 1
Final
DAL 4
STL 3
Final
COL 2
ANA 5
Final
ANA 4
COL 0
Final
ARI 5
LOS 4
Final
LOS 4
ARI 3
7:00pm Tonight
BUF
CAR
 
7:00pm Tonight
CLB
PIT
 
7:30pm Tonight
MON
BOS
 
7:30pm Tonight
TAM
NAS
 
7:30pm Tonight
TOR
PHI
 
8:30pm Tonight
CHI
DET
 
9:00pm Tonight
VAN
SJS
 
10:00pm Tonight
ANA
ARI
 
10:30pm Tonight
SJS
VAN
 
Final
NYJ 19
CHI 27