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Georgia Tech 62, UNC 58

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If you had been, say, in a coma since October and just woke up this week, and you needed UNC's 2009-10 basketball season summed up in a single game, this was it.

Despite falling behind early, Carolina manned up in the first half, dominated the boards, and got out to a 10-point lead. But as been the case more times than you can count this season, the Heels gave up a 15-4 run and the lead. Then for good measure, after keeping the game even for most of the second half, UNC went without a field goal for the last 5:13 of the game. The last four minutes were marred by missed opportunities, dreadful shooting, back-breaking turnovers, and bone-headed plays that have characterized this team since early January.

Derrick Favors showed why he is a man among the rest of the league's freshman boys, putting up 17 points (on 7-8 shooting), 9 rebounds, and 5 blocks while scoring pretty much at will against UNC's front line and swatting away sure layups. Paul Hewitt should be fired on the spot for not getting Favors more than 8 shots. Besides, it is a crime that a team as athletic as Georgia Tech, with Favors, Gani Lawal and Iman Shumpert is on the NCAA bubble.

Meanwhile, Carolina's season-long shooting woes continue as the Heels shot only 33% for the game. Moreover, the guards and wings shot 6 for 35 - that's 17%, if you're scoring at home - and 1 for 15 from three (the other made three was made by a post player, T. Wear). The only bright spot was Tyler Zeller, who matched Favors with a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds.

The stat sheet did show a couple of other positives, such as a 40-34 rebounding advantage, only 10 turnovers (but how crucial these were in the 2nd half!) and a blistering 16 assists on 23 made baskets, which is pretty good offensive involvement.

UNC showed at least some heart and fight in this game against a Tech team that is, quite simply, stronger and better than the Heels, but could not pull it out and in doing so becomes the only lower seed not to win on Thursday. Carolina now awaits its fate as the NIT field is announced Sunday at 9:00.