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GT 73 UNC 71

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Well, what can you say? Yes, there was some fight and toughness on display in the 2nd half, especially from Will Graves who played the best basketball he has ever played as a Tar Heel. Twenty four points from Graves, 22 of which came in the 2nd half was simply not enough to yank the Heels from yet another huge hole dug via turnovers and sloppy offensive execution not to mention a defense that just plain sucks at times.

And that is what it comes down to. When you consider that UNC went from down 19 with 18:52 left in the game to a two point lead with just under two minutes left that means UNC was 21 points better that Georgia Tech for most of the 2nd half. The problem is the same one UNC had versus Kentucky, Texas, Syracuse in the 2nd half and Clemson for that matter. This team gets completely shell shocked to start the game and for some reason treat the first half of the game like I usually treated a paper in college due a week down the road. It is almost like they procrastinate out there then collectively say, "oh crap" before playing with a sense of urgency. And while the comeback was impressive in my opinion it was only impressive in that it was the only time all day they looked like a Tar Heel basketball team. UNC teams are famous for their comebacks at home, so that have that much going for them.

Then again, what are you going to do? They are Tar Heels and for all of their faults it is not like any of us are going anywhere nor should we. Sure there are things we want to see changed and our opinions are running fairly hot on whether Marcus Ginyard should see the court again or why Dexter Strickland was not on the court late in this game. I don't have answers for any of those issue. I do know that despite all this I am choosing to hang in there in high hopes that the Will Graves who showed up in the 2nd half of this game will keep showing up. That some time very soon, Roy Williams finds the combination of players that works or the poor play just stops. Maybe it will, maybe it won't but regardless I know my place is right there backing this team as I have countless seasons before.

One quick note on the end of game sequence which UNC took seven seconds to get a foul. The delay has drawn the ire of fans as well as incorrect analysis from folks on ESPN blaming poor execution on the players. The impression is given that UNC players did not move to foul after Larry Drew's missed layup with ten seconds left. That is completely wrong. If you watch the replay, Graves and one of the Wears is making an effort to foul Shumpert in the corner but both them were screened by two Yellow Jacket players. By the time they fought past the screens, Shumpert kicked the ball out to D'Andre Bell who was then fouled. Just because it took seven seconds to get the foul does not mean UNC players were stupid. Sometimes the breaks are against you and in this case two perfectly set screens delayed the initial foul and bought the Jackets more time.

In short, on top of the real mistakes the Heels made today, you get crap like this making the job even tougher.