There are advantages to being taller and quicker than the other team in basketball. For one, it's very easy to score, as John Henson and Tyler Zeller demonstrated over and over again. Henson had ten straight points at one point for Carolina; he'd eclipse his career high before halftime, and finish with 28 points, 11 rebounds and six blocks. Zeller also scored a personal best, netting 32 points to lead all scorers, and Harrison Barnes added his own 24 and 16 rebounds, a personal best on the boards. Together the three totaled 86 of the Heels' points, providing Kendall Marshall with an Ed Cota-esque 10 assists, and provided sportswriters with enough "most [statistic] since [year]" factoids to fill al the column inches they need.
And yet, if you were watching the game, you were almost certainly screaming at the TV in frustration at some point. Perhaps it was at the 18 turnovers. More likely, it was the 12-0 Blackbird run in the first half that tied the game after UNC was on the verge of blowing their opponent out of the building. Carolina recovered from that one with a 20-6 run of their own, but coughed up a 9-0 run in the second half just to keep things interesting. And although the easy bucket inside kept the Heels from doing too much on the perimeter, Leslie McDonald was still a disappointing 0-7 from the field and the team 3 for 17 from behind the arc.
The game left Roy Williams irritated with his team's lapses in judgement and fans wondering how much of the team that sleepwalked through the ACC tournament is still on the court. Carolina did do a good job defending the three, and drew 28 fouls against one of the least-fouling teams in the country. But this is a small-market automatic qualifier that UNC is supposed to dominate. Defeating the winner of Georgia/Washington is going to take more diligence and less turnovers; until then, however, they can bask in some impressive performances from some very big men.