Lucas: FSU Quick Reactions – University of North Carolina Athletics

By Adam Lucas

1. It may not be March yet, but it looks like March. Carolina took an early lead, then survived a late push from Florida State to earn a key win they needed to have, 77-66.

2. It will be interesting to hear Hubert Davis in the post-game. It felt like a three-pointer covered a game that wasn’t Carolina’s best. But the perimeter shooting was so good that some of the other “discipline and detail,” as the head coach often puts it, was overwhelmed. The Tar Heels were 14 for 29 from the arc (but only 3 for 11 in the second half, when things tightened up). The Tar Heels are now 9-0 when they made at least 35% from three-point range this season and survived a push from a team that just completed a 25-point comeback and has made the crowd believe it was possible again. The Tar Heels had just enough nerve to win.

3. leaky black played very well under the radar last month, and on Monday it broke. His arrival with authority 90 seconds from the end gave the impression of sealing the match. Black had 18 points (on 6-for-8 shooting) and nine rebounds to go along with his three assists. He has nine or more rebounds in six of the last nine games and continues to play great defense.

4. Anyone who says they thought those first-half stats would lead Carolina to an 18-point lead is lying: One made a two-point field goal after 15:56, zero points for Armand Bacottwo two-point baskets made in halftime, two points in the racket, Bacot limited to eight minutes by faults.

5. And yet, that is exactly what happened. The Tar Heels went 11 for 18 of three in the first half, or 61.1 percent. Those 11 three-pointers are more than Carolina in all but one ACC game this year (15 vs. Clemson) and more than Carolina in all but two games this year (also 15 vs. the Citadel).

6. It’s been a tough three days for Bacot after facing Virginia’s post double and Florida State’s length. He’s a combined 4-10 (0-for-4 Monday) with 14 rebounds in those two games. The Tar Heels will need more in the position against Duke on Saturday night. Another stunning stat: Carolina was outscored 28-14 in the paint by FSU. The 14 tied a season low, which was tied against Gardner-Webb.

7. Carolina’s defense at the rim was better last week. The Tar Heels entered the Virginia game with 11 blocks over the last four games. But they have accumulated ten in the last two games. A big part of that is Nance, who has five in the last two games after racking up five in the previous six games. Even when he didn’t get the block on Monday, he affected several shots.

8. The legend of Lemon Oreos continues to grow. A Tar Heel fan in the stands at the Tucker Center had a giant big head from a packet of Nance-approved cookies. There was also a special delivery of lemon Oreos waiting for the team when they checked into the hotel in Tallahassee on Sunday night. Nance had a double-double with 15 points and ten rebounds against the Noles and hit three of his six three-pointers.

9. Here’s the thing about Hubert Davis and his use of the bench: he will use the player who he thinks is the best match for this opponent at this precise moment. It’s like that Dontrez Styles— an athletic player who could rival the Seminoles — played ten minutes Monday. That put him in a good position to succeed, and he had solid minutes, finishing with four points and a rebound.

10. Black played his 152nd career game on Monday night. That ties Deon Thompson for the Carolina Conference and Atlantic Coast record.

11. And now the focus turns to a big Saturday night at the Smith Center against Duke. In addition to being Senior Day, the Tar Heels are playing for ACC Tournament seeding and to build a better NCAA Tournament summary. The most likely scenario for the Tar Heels is a seventh seed in Greensboro, but there are combinations that would put the Heels in eighth place.

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