UNC tried its best to hand Boston College the Eagles first win of the ACC before pulling out a 68-65 win at Boston College.
Roy Williams tried something new. After two straight losses and letting a nine point halftime lead slip away at Notre Dame, Williams did a little lineup shuffle starting Theo Pinson, Isaiah Hicks and Joel James alongside Joel Berry and Marcus Paige. Whatever goal Williams was trying to accomplish was not reached as UNC opened the game sluggish and inept on both ends of the floor. Boston College, entering the game with a historically bad offensive efficiency built leads of 13-4 and 25-16 thanks to the hot shooting of Eli Carter. Every time UNC drew close, the Eagles responded taking a 37-31 lead into the break.
UNC opened the second half with Joel Berry hitting two straight baskets and a Brice Johnson dunk to cut the lead to 39-37. Much like the first half Boston College kept finding ways to score using a 7-0 burst to push the lead back to a game high nine points. Just when you thought it couldn't get any worse, the Tar Heels lost Roy Williams for the remainder of the game.
Williams was shown discussing an issue with official Michael Stephens and when he returned to the huddle he collapsed to a seated position on the floor. After being checked by the medical staff, Williams was helped to the locker room where he stayed for the remainder of the game. Assistant coach Steve Robinson led the team over the final 14:35 of the game. Afterwards Williams said it was a bout of benign positional vertigo which occurs when he moves his head too quickly.
After Williams departure, UNC spent the better part of the half looking out of sorts even with the Eagles themselves regressing to the mean offensively. Nate Britt cut the Eagle lead to 49-46 and UNC followed with three turnovers and a missed three before Matt Milon's three and Garland Owens jumper pushed the lead to eight with 8:58 left.
UNC responded with a Paige three as the Tar Heels methodically whittled the BC lead down. A pair of Theo Pinson free throws gave UNC its first lead of the game at the 3:55 mark. Justin Jackson's jumper put UNC up 59-57 however the Eagles weren't quite done. Eli Carter's fifth three of the game put Boston College back in front with 2:15 remaining.
Following a UNC timeout, Berry found Paige in the corner off a set play and the senior guard hit the three to put the Tar Heels ahead for good. Following a defensive stop, it was Jackson again hitting a jumper with 47 seconds left to put the Heels up two possessions. However UNC made it tougher than it really needed to be with free throw woes. Paige and Johnson combined to go 2-4 at the line to leave the door ajar with just a four point lead. Milon's three with five seconds left cut the lead to one and Paige went back to the line to try and secure at least overtime. Paige hit both shots and a Carter three was well off the mark allowing UNC to escape with a three point win.
If you are looking for something to grasp as you rock in the fetal position muttering to yourself it will be okay, Jackson's stat line is worth a look. The sophomore basically saved the Tar Heels with 20 points on 8-10 shooting and a pair of threes. Paige finished with 11 points and showed his three point slump was indeed over hitting 3-6 from beyond the arc. Berry chipped in 11 points and dished out six assists. The Tar Heel big men did very little with Johnson scoring just nine points, Hicks four and Kennedy Meeks two to go with his seven rebounds. Meeks did come up with a key defensive play late to protect UNC's three point lead.