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UNC rebounds in a must-win game on the road at Virginia Tech

Quad 1 win follows Quad 4 loss? Sure.

NCAA Basketball: North Carolina at Virginia Tech Ryan Hunt-USA TODAY Sports

UNC bounced back from an ugly home loss to Pitt on Wednesday to take down a surging Virginia Tech team, 65-57, that had won six straight coming into today. It’s a very important Quad 1 win for the Tar Heels after their possible Quad 4 loss to the Panthers.

Despite the fact that UNC didn’t get much of anything out of their bench again today with just one three-pointer coming from Dontrez Styles, their starters did enough to get the job done in a hostile environment. Hubert Davis rode his starting five pretty hard in the game with no subs playing more than seven minutes and only going eight-deep.

Caleb Love had an excellent game with 21 points, seven assists, and just two turnovers. Armando Bacot was held scoreless in the first half but surged in the second half to pick up another double-double with 12 points and 15 rebounds. Brady Manek scored 10 of his points before the half and just four in the second half, but his teammates were able to pick up where he left off.

The Hokies have been a proficient three-point shooting team all season but UNC held them to just 19% from beyond the arc. Keve Aluma led his team with 16 points and nine rebounds with only Justyn Mutts joining him in double figures for Virginia Tech. The shot differential was very lopsided with Carolina taking 49 shots and shooting 45% and VT shooting 38% on 64 shots. UNC turned the ball over 15 times, but the Hokies weren’t able to do all that much with them as they scored just 11 points off those giveaways.

And so the roller coaster season that we’ve been on with the Tar Heels this season marches on. The bad is generally followed by good before the bad rears its head again before long. The margin of error is basically non-existent the rest of the way for Hubert Davis’ squad. They may very well need to win out in order to get into the NCAA Tournament, depending on results elsewhere. They certainly cannot afford to lose to anyone not named Duke full-stop. There are four games left in the regular season to prove themselves worthy of a spot in the field.

UNC will try and make that a reality with their next game coming Monday in Chapel Hill against Louisville.