basketball calendar 2016-17 Learfield
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Lucas: Rapid Reactions
Release: 01/08/2017

By Adam Lucas

1. What a fun afternoon at the Smith Center. Carolina's 107-56 win marks the most points ever scored by the Tar Heels against NC State in the 231-game history of the series, and the 51-point margin of victory was only one point off the biggest UNC win in series history.

2. It's hard to know exactly where to start in such a complete team performance, but Justin Jackson's 21 points on 6-of-11 three-point shooting is a pretty good place to start. What was most surprising was how uncontested many of Jackson's shots seemed to be, as NC State's will to play defense seemed to wane once the lead got above 20.

3. Last year, the Pack made a concerted effort to slow the game down against Carolina. They couldn't do it this time, largely because their 26 turnovers sped the game up dramatically and led to 37 UNC points. The Tar Heels also dominated fast break points (25-14) and points in the paint (44-20). 

4. The Joel Berry-Dennis Smith matchup never really materialized, because Smith picked up two quick fouls early, and then got his third with 10:17 left in the first half. The talented freshman finished with 11 points and five assists, but also had six turnovers. Berry, meanwhile, shot 6-of-10 from the field and scored 19 points to go with his five assists. Smith's limited playing time took an NCSU team that looked great earlier this week against Virginia Tech completely out of their offensive rhythm.

5. Great to see Theo Pinson get a huge ovation when he checked into the game for the first time this season with 13:47 left in the first half. Pinson showed some rust (0-3 shooting) and his timing with his teammates was clearly off on a couple of plays, but he also showed some of his very important assets, as he handed out five assists, made four steals, and grabbed five rebounds with no turnovers. "He's a stat sheet stuffer," Roy Williams said after the game.  

6. Pretty amazing: Carolina won by 51 points with Justin Jackson and Joel Berry playing 23 minutes, Kennedy Meeks playing 21, Kenny Williams playing 20, and no one else playing even 20 minutes. Basically, the Tar Heels won by 51 with the starters playing half the game. That's incredible. 

7. Nice to see the Tar Heels get to the free throw line more effectively after not doing a good job in that category in the first two ACC games. Carolina shot 25 free throws to NC State's 11, and converted 17 (68.0%). 

8. The Smith Center facility and maintenance crews did an incredible job getting the building and surrounding areas ready to host 16,133 people. Think of how difficult it is just to clear your driveway--now imagine your house covered the square footage of the Smith Center. The sidewalks and roads around the building couldn't have been much clearer considering the precipitation just stopped falling yesterday and the temperature won't nudge above freezing until Tuesday.

9. Quite a UNC alumni team on hand for Sunday's game, including Tyler Hansbrough, Rasheed Wallace, Bob McAdoo, and Lennie Rosenbluth. In the non-alumni department, but perhaps more important to today's generation, rapper J. Cole--a longtime Carolina fan who also has Fayetteville ties to Dennis Smith--was in attendance for his second UNC game in the last two seasons.

10. Just for some clarity, because some folks seem confused. The Atlantic Coast Conference policy is that teams, officials and game personnel must be able to get to and from the game safely in order to play. The italicized portion is what came into play with Saturday's originally scheduled game. Seems like delaying it by a day worked out just fine, though.


UNC North Carolina Men's Basketball


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