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UNC vs. Miami - Player of the Game: Leaky Black

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Black had maybe his best game as a Tar Heel as Carolina won a tight one in Miami.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Miami-Florida Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

When this game was at its bleakest (12-ish minutes left, UNC down 10), I said in our Tar Heel Blog staff Slack chat that most of the players that were around last season seemed to have an “ah crap, it’s happening again” vibe. I said most, because Leaky Black didn’t really.

While his season hasn’t been flawless, Black’s been one of few bright spots of late. He hit the game-winner against Notre Dame. He was one of few players who was even remotely looked okay against Georgia Tech. Against Miami, he continued that with maybe the best and most important performance of his Tar Heel career, helping them to a 67-65 win.

Black led Carolina with 16 points on 6-9 shooting (a perfect 4-4 from three), nine rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block. He led UNC with a +7 plus/minus, and was the main reason the Heels even got back into the game, never mind won it.

From the aforementioned 12 minutes mark until the 1:42 mark, the Tar Heels outscored Miami 20-8. Black scored five points, assisted on another two, grabbed three rebounds and also had a steal. Three of those five points came on a triple that gave UNC their first lead in nearly 17 minutes of game action. He was good all game long, but he also played a massive part in a comeback win that looked impossible for much of the second half.

Besides him, kudos to Andrew Platek. The game winner was one of few good things he did, but it’s still a game winner. Kerwin Walton had an excellent first half and opening couple of minutes in the second. He fell off after that, but still finished with a solid 13 points on 4-8 shooting (3-7 from three) and four assists. There was also Day’Ron Sharpe who put up a double-double with 12 points and 16 rebounds, seven offensive. In most games, that a lot of games, that would arguably get him player of the game. However, his points came on 4-12 shooting, and he had three turnovers. It was either a good bad performance or a bad good performance, it was weird.

UNC was still far from good enough, but they got the win. They need to perform better, but the standings aren’t going to have film from this game. However, the standings would look way worse if it wasn’t for Leaky Black showing up when it mattered.