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UNC vs. Louisville: Player of the Game

Look, I don’t know what that game was either.

COLLEGE BASKETBALL: FEB 01 North Carolina at Louisville Photo by Joe Robbins/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

Look, I know typically there’s only one “player of the game,” but we’re now going on a third consecutive game of essentially giving it to multiple different people. However, in a game as dumb and weird as Tuesday night’s, it’s hard to actually focus on just one person.

North Carolina’s 90-83 overtime win over Louisville was like some kind weird Shakespearean drama that ended with stuff getting thrown on the court and pretty much no fan of either team actually happy. Pretty much everyone you could give POTG to also had moments of frustration. It was an absolute mess of a game, so let’s just break it up into segments and highlight a player from each, because that was maybe the dumbest win of the season.

First Half

UNC’s key player in the first half was R.J. Davis. With Caleb Love off to a slow start in what ended up being a very bad game from him, and Armando Bacot putting up numbers, but not exactly doing so efficiently, Davis led the way in the first 20 minutes. He put up 10 first half points on 4-6 shooting, knocking down two three and being the only Heel to finish the half in the positive in plus/minues.

Second Half Part One

To start the second half, UNC pulled away, and it seemed as if they were on their way to a fairly easy win. Key in that run was Leaky Black. For the game, Black went a perfect 4-4 from the field and 3-3 from three. He finished with 13 points, five rebounds, and four assists. He also generally seemed to be making the right plays at the right time as the Heels went up 10 with 12 minutes left and looked on the verge of putting the game away.

Second Half Part Two

Reader, they did not put the game away. After Carolina went up 55-45, Louisville then scored 17 of the next 20 points, turning that into a four point lead for the Cardinals. It would’ve been even worse were it not for Brady Manek. At one point, Manek was the only one keeping UNC in the game, scoring nine-straight points for the Heels, answering every time Louisville scored. For the game, Manek finished as UNC’s leading scorer with 24 points, and boy did the team need every last one of them.

Overtime

Oh boy was the end of regular and overtime a mess. I’m sure any Louisville fans reading probably think that the refs were UNC’s POTG for overtime, but whatever. Love actually led the Heels in scoring in overtime with eight points, but five of them came on free throws, and he didn’t exactly do himself any justice in the previous 40 minutes. Honestly, no one was particularly excellent in OT for UNC.

If I had to give it to just one player, Manek or Black are probably the correct picks. Maybe Bacot after he put up another double-double, but do a Twitter search if you want to see what happened for him in this game. Honestly, let’s just forget this dumb game ever happened.