Blog: UNC upsets No. 3 Louisville, 93-84 to win Tip-Off Tournament
Posted November 24, 2013
Uncasville, Conn. — FINAL: UNC 93, Louisville 84: Led by another career day from Marcus Paige, North Carolina upset No. 3 Louisville Sunday in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off championship game, 93-84. Paige scored 32 points and was helped by 13 from Brice Johnson and a 12-and-11 double-double from Kennedy Meeks.
Louisville guard Russ Smith also set a career mark with 36 points in the losing effort.
UNC shot a blistering 53 percent from the floor and had 11 players get on the scoresheet.
3:39 2nd: UNC 84, Louisville 73: UNC is sticking to their double-digit lead as they have an 11-point advantage on No. 3 Louisville at the final media timeout of the game.
7:29 2nd: UNC 77, Louisville 65: Marcus Paige has tied a career high with 26 points and Montrezl Harrell has fouled out for Louisville as the Tar Heels are seemingly in control, up 12 at the under-8 timeout.
11:50 2nd: UNC 63, Louisville 55: UNC has maintained and controlled the tempo for much of the game and after a James Michael McAdoo dunk, lead by eight at the under-12 media break of the second half.
15:59 2nd; UNC 52, Louisville 49: UNC is shooting 50 percent from the floor and has narrowed the gap in rebound margin as they have gained a 3-point lead on Louisville early in the 2nd half.
HALF: UNC 44, Louisville 44: Marcus Paige closed his exceptional first half with a three at the buzzer to send the game against No. 3 Louisville to intermission tied at 44.
Paige scored 17 in the first half to lead all Tar Heel scorers. In all nine UNC players scored including Brice Johnson who contributed nine points and three rebounds off the bench.
Louisville's Russ Smith continues to lead all scorers with 22 points.
3:59 1st: Louisville 36, UNC 31: Despite great pressure and scoring from UNC, Louisville still leads by five at the final media timeout of the first half.
Louisville has 20 points from Russ Smith and is leading the rebounding battle 20-11.
For UNC Brice Johnson has 7 points off the bench while Paige has 10.
6:09 1st: Louisville 31, UNC 27: At the under-8 timeout, UNC is playing up-tempo and hanging with Louisville in large part to balanced scoring spread between six players led by Marcus Paige's 10.
11:34 1st; Louisville 23, UNC 16: At the under-12, the scoring continues in Connecticut as Louisville leads UNC, 23-16.Cards' Russ Smith is 4-for-5 shooting and has a game-high 11 points already.
15:57 1st; Louisville 13, UNC 10: Each team is shooting well early but at the first media stoppage, Louisville leads UNC 13-10. Marcus Paige leads UNC with 5 points but Russ Smith leads everyone with 6.
20:00 1st: UNC vs. Louisville: UNC will take the court with Tokoto, McAdoo, Paige, Britt and James as they seek their fourth win of the year and a Hall of Fame Tip-Off title.
The only game of the day to feature a pair of nationally-ranked teams, championship round action in the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame Tip Off at Mohegan Sun Arena finds the 24th-ranked North Carolina Tar Heels tangling with the third-ranked and unbeaten Louisville Cardinals.
Louisville, the defending national champion, is off to a 5-0 start after taking down Fairfield in this venue on Saturday, 71-57. Other victories in this tournament for the Cardinals, a team which doesn't play a true road game until Dec. 21 when it battles FIU in Miami, have come against Hofstra and Hartford.
As for the Tar Heels, a team which bowed to Belmont in the event a week ago, they managed to grab an 82-72 win over Richmond on Saturday. The other two victories on the calendar for UNC were against Oakland and Holy Cross, the latter also being part of this tournament.
In terms of the all-time series between these two historic programs, the Heels are ahead by a count of 8-3. The most recent meeting took place in the 2008 NCAA Tournament East Regional final in Charlotte where UNC captured an 83-73 win.
Against the Spiders, North Carolina got off to a bit of a slow start, shooting only 40.7 percent from the field and 1-of-5 behind the 3-point line in the first half, yet the team led by three at the break and eventually captured the double-digit triumph thanks to a 53.8 percent effort over the finally 20 minutes of action. Brice Johnson played a huge role off the bench for UNC as he registered a double-double in only 22 minutes of action, putting up 24 points and pulling down a game-high 12 rebounds. Marcus Paige accounted for a team-high 26 points as he sank 6-of-9 shots out on the perimeter, while J.P. Tokoto added 10 points.
Averaging more than 35 minutes per game, Paige is generating a team-best 20.0 ppg for the Tar Heels, thanks in large part to his 51.9 percent shooting beyond the arc. It also doesn't hurt that the team's top assist man (16) is also shooting 88.9 percent at the free-throw line either. James Michael McAdoo checks in with 17.0 ppg and 7.5 rpg, his efforts on the glass second only to Johnson (15.0 ppg) who has cleared 7.8 rpg and done all his damage coming off the bench.
Except for Stephan Van Tresse who was held scoreless as he attempted just a single field goal attempt over the course of 22 minutes, every starter scored in double figures for the Cardinals in their win against Fairfield on Saturday. Montrezl Harrell registered a double-double for Louisville with 14 points and a game-high 12 rebounds, while Chris Jones led all scorers with 15 points, to go along with four rebounds and four steals. Wayne Blackshear and Russ Smith pitched in with 11 and 10 points, respectively.
Scoring at least 70 points in every game thus far, the Cardinals are now generating 84.8 ppg thanks to the efforts of Smith (17.0 ppg), Harrell (14.0 ppg), Jones (13.4 ppg) and Blackshear (11.2 ppg). Harrell, a 63.0 percent shooter from the floor, is also responsible for 9.8 rpg to help provide the program with a rebounding edge of close to seven per game at this juncture.
Holding opponents to just 55.2 ppg, the Cardinals will probably focus more at the defensive end of the floor versus UNC today, and that should be what gets them over the top.