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UNC 80 FSU 77

Miracle finishes are not just reserved for the Smith Center.

It was 16 years and one day ago that UNC rallied to beat Florida State in the Smith Center capped off by a George Lynch steal and dunk.  Danny Green may not be George Lynch but he is doing a darn good impersonation of him lately.  With the Heels down three, Green made a steal that looked eerily similar to Lynch's swiped in 1993 only in this instance Green was fouled on the layup and made the free throw to tie the game.  The moment still had the same meaning since it turned a flagging ship around and gave the Heels a fighting chance.

From there it was an incredible defensive stop by Tyler Hansbrough who ended up guarding Toney Douglas 25 feet from the basket and eventually forced a shot clock violation with 3.2 seconds that setup Ty Lawson's three point runner at the buzzer to win the game.  Now I have made light of Leonard Hamilton's coaching ability but how do you allow Lawson to have the ball.  I knew Lawson was going to get it.  Everyone in the building knew Lawson was going to get it.  Hamilton must have used a lifeline to call former Missouri coach Norm Stewart to ask how you defened a speedy PG with four seconds or less on the clock.  At any rate, I'll take it.

Big kudos to Lawson and Green who stepped up big on a night when Hansbrough was saddled with fouls and rendered ineffective on offense.  Green and I will never tire of writing this, did it all: 20 points, seven rebs and six steals.  The only downside is he committed six turnovers but his final steal ended up being the turning point in the final minutes.  Lawson ended up with 21 and led the team in rebounding with nine. Yes, you read that correctly.  Instead of wilting while the opposing guard was shredding the Heels defense, Lawson stepped his game up and ended up winning the game.  Wayne Ellington had 14 and made some plays to help the Heels extened a 13 point lead which they ultimately surrendered.

As for the rest of it.   Concerns about the Heels' ability to handle good guard play alongside a deep frontline abound and I am not convinced there are any clear answers.  You also have to wonder why the shooting is so inconsistent.  I also think Roy might want to reevaluate how he handles breaks in the schedule.  UNC simply does not perform well after six to seven days off.  This is not the first time the Heels have come out rusty and unfocused this season following an extended period between games.

That being said, this was a great win, ugly as it was.  Speaking for myself I get caught up wanting to see impressive domination but the reality of ACC parity, especially on the road is sometimes you end up with a game like this.  Honestly that is fine because there is probably more value in terms of team development winning a game like this than blowing the Seminoles out of the building.  The importance of a hard fought win in a tough enviroment cannot be overstated.  The same was true in 2005 when the Heels squeaked one out at Maryland and the same is true of this one.