UNC 88, Valparaiso 77

"We've got to go back to the bare essentials. We have a two-on-one fast break twice tonight and we don't score on either one of them. We didn't even get a shot off on one of them. We have seniors turning the ball over: Deon and Marcus [Ginyard]on three straight possessions and Larry on two straight possessions. It goes in the win column, but we have no chance in New York if we play this way."     --Roy Williams

So that could have gone better.  And for stretches of the game, it did. UNC led 67-43 at one point, and in their previous two games that was a big enough lead for the Heels to coast to an easy victory. Here, it was prelude to a Valparaiso comeback, outscoring the Heels 32 to 17, primarily by raining threes down left or right.

I'm sure more than one team headed to New York was taking notes furiously during this game, and perimeter shooting has always been a good way to beat Carolina. But UNC teams are built to goad you into the three – it's a low percentage shot, and defensive rebounds go to the tall team that likes quick outlet passes for fast breaks. So I'm not particularly concerned by the Crusaders' twelve three-pointers, or 7 for 10 shots from behind the arc in the second half. Sure, more pressure on the perimeter would help, but that's not the worrying part. It's the turnovers, which, although down to fourteen after numbering 20+, were mostly at the hands of the experienced players. Ginyard had five, Drew four. This is a team not in sync, not comfortable with one another, and not ready for the national stage. They've got until Thursday to fix that.

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