Thursday night was a little closer than it should have been.
It was to be expected, truth be told. Coming off the high of big wins at Carmichael, staring at a season-defining road trip that has them criss-crossing almost the whole footprint of the ACC, and the start of the trip being the team at the bottom of the standings, it shouldn’t have been a surprise that Courtney Banghart’s Tar Heels came out slow.
If all you did was look at the final score-a 72-57 win-you’d have never caught the fact that Pittsburgh actually led the vast majority of the game. Pittsburgh took a lead late and first quarter and held it all the way through the end of the third, getting the lead by as much as eight. Then the Tar Heels do what they have done all season and turned it around 23 points to make a eight point deficit into a fifteen point win in the span of about seventeen minutes.
It’s been how the team has operated the vast majority of their games, just finding a switch at some point in the second half and leaving the other team in their rearview mirror. It would be nice if they didn’t play with fire like that though, as there are too many good teams in the league to mess around and find out.
The Tar Heels have managed to claw their way back into the top four of the ACC standings. At 6-3, they are tied with Miami for fourth place, one game in the win column behind FSU, and two game behind Notre Dame and Duke-with a win over both. With as thin as the Tar Heels play in terms of their rotation, the fewer games they have to play in the gauntlet of the ACC Tournament the better.
Today they head south and match up against Clemson. This is going to be a tough matchup as the Tigers may only be 4-6 in the conference, but they have been a difficult as of late for their opponents. Despite getting throttled by 31 against Florida State and losing to Syracuse at home at the beginning of the month, they only lost to Duke by ten and just lost by three to Notre Dame. They are coming off a 85-74 loss at Georgia Tech on Thursday, but judging by their efforts against the league leaders, they’ll be ready for a fight today.
If you happen to be in the Clemson area and want to cheer on the Tar Heels you should head on out, but if you can’t be there, here’s how to catch the action:
- Time: 4 PM ET
- Location: Littlejohn Coliseum, Clemson, SC
- TV: ACC Network
- Radio: Tar Heel Sports Network-here is the list of affiliates, sort by the sport column for “Basketball-women’s” to see if a station in your area is covering the game. Matt Krause handles the call for the Tar Heels. On Sirius XM, you can find the call on channel 194 and 956. You can also listen to them on GoHeels.com, The Varsity Network, and Tune In.
- Streaming: ACC Network is available on the ESPN App on your phone/tablet or Watch ESPN on your computer if you have the ACC Network as part of your cable service.