Lucas: Michigan Quick Reactions - University of North Carolina Athletics

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By Adam Lucas

1. Big win for Carolina to win two consecutive non-conference games and go into Christmas feeling good. The Tar Heels beat Michigan 80-76.

two. Armando Bacot it was great again for the Tar Heels, and this time he did it against formidable competition in Hunter Dickinson. Bacot was the main differentiator in Carolina’s attack. Bacot made Dickinson look very average. Michigan’s best push came when Bacot had to leave the game with four fouls as the Wolverines closed to three with 3:30 left before he got back into the game. Bacot finished with 26 points on 11-of-15 shooting.

3. Is Carolina’s three-pointer coming? The Tar Heels were solid from the Charlotte arc. Carolina was 7-for-20, just 35 percent, but they made some big ones, including four from RJ Davis🇧🇷

4. That three-point shot called off some unusual struggles at the free-throw line. That has been Carolina’s best consistent offense this year, but the Tar Heels have only managed 14-of-27 in the charity strip. However–Caleb’s love made four big ones in a row with less than a minute to go.

5. Also coming: Carolina’s transition game. The Tar Heels had 16 quick break points and are running the court much more efficiently than they were a few weeks ago, when they sometimes seemed to be thinking more than playing. RJ Davis did a good job with most of the pace, but Caleb Love’s playmaking has also improved. Love has 17 assists in his last three games.

6. leaked black was quietly a very effective rebound for Carolina – he finished with a ten for the team – and had a standout play in the second half that seemed important to the flow of the game. With Carolina up by six points, Michigan had an elimination led by Dug McDaniel. But Black blocked the shot and saved the ball from McDaniel out of bounds. When Pete Nance converted a three-pointer on the next drive, turned into a five-pointer. Black had another big play with less than three minutes left when he broke in front of Dickinson to make a key steal on a three-point game. Playing close to home, the Concord native was the unsung hero of the game.

7. In a Dean Smith type wrinkle, Hubert Davis started to show a few different defensive looks throughout the game. The Tar Heels showed various types of man-to-man pressure in the first half, which prevented Michigan from really establishing itself on offense.

8. Seth Trimble didn’t shoot in the first half, but it changed the game. Freshman save on Jett Howard was instrumental in turning the game around and propelling Carolina on a drive that gave the Heels a seven-point halftime lead. Stopping Howard was an issue without Trimble; he quickly changed that.

9. The referees let the game get too physical in the first half of the first half, and then had to try to recover it once Hunter Dickinson and Caleb’s love got involved in a tumble under the Tar Heel basket. Four quick technical fouls in a row essentially ended what had been an escalating physical situation. The game was called much tighter after that.

10. It’s hard to know what the future of this series will be. Tar Heels and Wolverines have been frequent opponents as of late, with Wednesday marking their fifth meeting in six seasons. Three of those meetings took place in the ACC-Big Ten Challenge, which is now giving way to the ACC-SEC Challenge next season. The teams split in the last four meetings.

11. Second consecutive color-on-color game for the Tar Heels. This was a throwback to the 1993 national championship game that always evokes positive memories. Another great neutral site crowd as the Charlotte Tar Heel contingent was a match for the Madison Square Garden team on Saturday. Carolina is 15-2 at the Spectrum Center.

12. With Wednesday night being the final game before Christmas break, most of the Tar Heels are heading home straight from Charlotte. Some leave with their parents after the game, others leave Charlotte tomorrow. The team will gather in Chapel Hill for training on the evening of December 26th. Don’t underestimate how much many of the players are looking forward to this break. They haven’t slept in their own beds for a long time; after all, they are still college students and most of their classmates have been back home for a week now. This is an estimated break in the schedule.