I picked Boston College to beat North Carolina on Tuesday night. What in the blue hell was I thinking? I thought Reggie Jackson would remember that the Eagles had a game against a top 25 team. I thought Carolina would continue to show their inexperience on the road and struggle a bit. I thought Harrison Barnes would continue to be a sporadic scorer. Wrong. WRONG. WRONG!
Roy Williams’ team played its best game since cutting down the nets in Detroit 22 months ago. They made their shots, they were on fire from 3, and almost automatic from the line (John Henson 1 of 1!). Barnes, Henson, Reggie Bullock, Tyler Zeller, Leslie McDonald, Justin Knox, you name it played an almost perfect game. They out-rebounded the Eagles, had a whopping 27-9 assist to turnover ratio, and totally shut down Jackson.
But the thing that was most noticeable to me was Carolina’s confidence. The last 22 months have been mired by lost looks on their faces. They haven’t been an extension of their head coach, they hit the panic button every time their opponent goes on a run, and they have no ability to handle the basketball. Heck, we saw all of those things 16 days ago in Atlanta, as the Yellow Jackets embarrassed them. None of that was on display in Chesnut Hill, making you wonder if Carolina has truly turned the corner.
You have to imagine that some of those lapses will show back up. It might happen against FSU on Sunday, it certainly wouldn’t shock you to see it in Cameron, or maybe it will come a few days later in Littlejohn. But I don’t think it will last.
The Heels proved last night that they are simply too good to be battling to get into the tournament. They proved they’re worthy of being ranked in the Top 25, and that they are the second best team in the conference. Now comes the next question…Can they compete to be the best?