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UNC 61 Miami 59

Holy crap, I can't believe what I

I did not see the game since I was stuck in the office. I did listen to it on the radio and watch my Twitter feed all while the server THF is on apparently burned unintended in a data center somewhere. I did watch the last play on YouTube and all I can say to that is (1) classic Kendall Marshall and (2) they may have been the best hot potato shot I have ever seen.

I know there has been and will be a fair amount of griping over how UNC played for the first 33 minutes. Just stop okay? UNC is a good team but for some reason is not allowed to struggle at all in the eyes of the fans. Yes, they came out and got smacked around for most of the their opening game of the conference tournament. So did Pitt(who lost), Kansas(who won by one) and Ohio St(who needed OT to win.) There is this obvious dynamic that exists with elite teams with byes playing lower seeded teams coming off a game on the previous day. The lower seed is desperate and is already over the butterflies that come with playing in a tournament. Higher seeds might be a tad complacent/nervous/high strung. I think all three of these describe UNC in some way. From the way it looked to me UNC was just sloppy of their own doing. It was not that Miami was playing lockdown defense as much as it was UNC fumbling passes. It Yes, the Heels' were a tad shell shocked and did not get to some of the ball they should have on rebounds. The effort pissed off Roy to the point he put Blue Steel in the game and then ripped the starters a new one on the bench. It took them awhile but in the end, they woke up in time and got it done. The point is taken that UNC should not try such a thing again. However the Heels have done a pretty good job taking care of the basketball all season, one game of butterfingers does not alarm me providing they focus in the next game.

So for 33 minutes it was turnovers galore and Harrison Barnes was the only Tar Heel keeping the team remotely in the game. Miami hit shots like their life depended on it(because it did in the tournament sense) and UNC played tentative. Then with their backs against the wall and really needing to score on almost every possession they had left, they did just that. UNC got a barrage of threes from Leslie McDonald, Kendall Marshall and one from Barnes. The defense tightened up as did the Miami players. With Miami's Reggie Johnson saddled with four fouls, the Heels got into the interior for points to tied the game at 59. From there it was a defensive stop followed by a Marshall drive and dish to Zeller for the win.

It was survive and advance at its finest not to mention a Tar Heel comeback in the finest tradition of the program. The first 33 minutes were bad but the final seven showed the kind of toughness and resiliency this team possesses. In tournament play you take the good(with the win) and hope like heck they we don't see that kind of bad the rest of the season.