If you are Clemson and you look at the schedule and it says "at North Carolina" you have to ask yourself: "Why bother?"
The leading question was whether or not UNC would springboard off the Miami game into another solid defensive effort. The answer is yes. The same kind of defense that threw the Hurricanes off kilter did the same thing to Clemson in the long run. Yes, Clemson got some open looks from three and making those shots kept them alive in the first half. As with most hot three point shooting, it balances out and once it did the Heels took complete control of the game. Danny Green's stat line reflects that. Green recorded three steals and three blocks continuing his penchant for making key plays on defense to spark the offense.
The defense and the fact UNC broke the Clemson press also feed a stellar offensive attack. Ty Lawson and Wayne Ellington scored almost at will and while Ellington only hit 2-6 from three point range one of those came on a beautifully executed play near the end of the half. Lawson got the penetration and made a nice kick to Ellington to cap off a 9-2 run to close the half. Mostly Ellington got his points in transition or with nice drives to the basket. Probably bigger news than that is Ellington's seven assists(career high) along with six rebounds. That is great all around play coming from a someone who had struggled for much of the season. Lawson stepped his game up with 16 points, seven assists and three steals. The Clemson press provided a little trouble to start but was solved in short order. Lawson had a lot to do with that as did his pressure on the ball. Deon Thompson bounced back nicely to score 15 points and five rebounds answering concerns about his production while providing a second interior option. Speaking of the first one, Tyler Hansbrough dealt with some very physical defense but still found a way to grind out 20 points and 10 rebounds. All of this after nearly getting a tooth knocked out by a stray Clemson elbow.
In short it answers for now the concerns many had about this team. Clemson is a good team and while they are not the Clemson of a year ago, whipping them by 24 in the manner in which UNC went about doing it makes a statement. The goal now is to keep it rolling. UNC gets a week before heading to FSU where the objective will be to win and leave town with everyone's various body parts uninjured by Ryan Reid.