1. Stop me if you've heard this one before: J.J. Mann, who made the game-winning three-pointer, came into the day 1-for-17 from the three-point line this season. He finished the game 5-of-14 from beyond the stripe, and scored 28 points.
"Mann is a really good shooter," Williams said after the game. "We've got to get up there and make that shot a little tougher."
By the way, keep in mind that the winner wasn't the only buzzer beating three the Bruins made. Just before half, Drew Windler sank a three-pointer that took the Belmont halftime lead to seven. That shot felt especially important because it looked like Carolina had weathered playing nearly four minutes without Marcus Paige, who had to sit down with two fouls. Windler's shot took the feeling from, "OK, the Tar Heels survived that," to, "Uh oh."
Those final four minutes of the first half highlighted just how important Paige is to this year's team, especially with the current roster. He simply must be on the floor. If you see him on campus, allow him all right of way and give him a wide berth because the Tar Heels can't afford for anything to happen to him.
2. On paper, Belmont looked like a team that could allow Carolina to control the tempo. They entered the game hitting only 27 percent of their three-pointers, and even in the first half, made just 7-of-21. But the Bruins did a terrific job of getting back on defense and preventing the Tar Heels from getting any transition opportunities. Carolina mustered zero fast break points in the first half and finished with just two for the game, on a highlight reel slam from Brice Johnson. The Tar Heels now have six fast break points in the last two games.
3. As much grief as the Smith Center crowd takes, they deserve a little credit for this one. When it became obvious that Carolina needed some help, they were on their feet for most of the final ten minutes. It wasn't an especially large crowd for the building's 400th game, as the official attendance was 15,205, but the ones who were there made a difference.
4. Free throws: what can you say? Carolina made 22-of-48 for the game, and came back from an atrocious first half (9-of-28) to hit 13-of-20 in the second half. But by then the damage had been done, because the first-half struggles allowed Belmont to build a little confidence and feel like they were in the game.
5. The move to switch all the perimeter screens in the second half made a difference during the stretch when Carolina erased an 11-point deficit. Credit also to Jackson Simmons and Luke Davis for playing an important role in the comeback.
Adam Lucas is the editor of CAROLINA.