What a difference a week makes. Seven days after suffering a stunning loss at home to Belmont, No. 24 North Carolina celebrated an upset of its own, topping No. 3 Louisville 93-84 in the Hall of Fame Tipoff Tournament.
The Atlantic Coast Conference didn’t exactly follow the preseason script this year.
While State has the most talent and Duke has the best resume, North Carolina is the Triangle team that has impressed me the most this season. When they were 0-2 in the ACC, or 3-3, or even 6-5, you wonderted if Roy Williams would make his second appearance in four seasons in the NIT.
Hitting To All Fields: Heels Make “STATE”ment To Wolfpack, Wake Upsets #2 Miami, Danica Lives Up To Daytona Hype
Epic win for UNC over N.C. State in Chapel Hill…The Dean Dome crowd was rocking big time for the Heels 76-65 “STATE”ment over the Pack. Hats off to Reggie Bullock who was on fire, hitting 5 out of 12 from three point range with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Freshman Marcus Paige outplayed one of the best point guards in America: Lorenzo Brown with eight assists and ZERO turnovers…the highly touted McDonald’s All-American finally played as advertised coming out of Marion, Iowa.
I know. I criticized Roy last week for keeping P.J. Hairston buried on the bench for far too long. I stand by that. But I also know that, in his place, I would have started P.J. Hairston instead of Dexter Strickland. And that would have been the wrong call. Starting him alongside Strickland, in a small lineup, has been the spark the Tar Heels desperately needed. Since then, they’ve won three out of four and played their best basketball of the year. For that, I give Roy credit.
Mac Attack 3/28: ESPN’s Dave Telep calls in to talk about recruiting in ACC hoops, how Marcus Paige will fit with the Tarheels, and where the biggest players still on the fence could be heading.