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UNC Basketball: Feelin’ It

Sometimes you’re just feelin’ it.

NCAA Basketball: Wake Forest at North Carolina Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

You’ll know when it happens. It could be in a sold-out arena, on the biggest stage; it could be at a local high school game; it could even be that guy in rec specs and knee pads at the YMCA. Depending on the person, it could be an unspoken thing or come with a mess of trash talk, but either way—you’ll know it. One goes down, could be a fluke. Two go down and you start to wonder. As the third shot pops the bottom of the net, you’re pretty sure of it. He’s feelin’ it. It’s the type of feeling you love as a fan, and hate as a defender.

Anyone who’s played organized sports knows the feeling. Someone on the other team is feelin’ it, and now we have a whole new scoring threat to worry about. It makes things difficult; it can get in your head, because it should be so simple. Just... don’t let them score. Then there it goes again, a fourth shot drops through the hoop and he’s jogging back down the court like it’s nothing.

Leaky Black shot 60% from long range on Wednesday night en route to a career-high 18 points on 6-8 from the floor. The three triples came in pretty quick succession in the first half, keeping the Tar Heels even with the Demon Deacons in what was an otherwise sleepy first half for the home team—RJ Davis, our Player of the Game, went into the half with only five of his eventual game-high 27 points, and Armando Bacot only had seven of an eventual 21 when the buzzer sounded at the midpoint of the game. Black took 14 points into the halftime locker room with him, and the Heels only had to contend with a one-point deficit to begin the second half in no small part because Black was feelin’ it.

In the second half, of course, he went back to the hum-drum usual Leaky Black things, like crucial steals and lockdown defense; y’know, the monotonous game-winning things that he does so quietly you’d almost miss the magic. Sometimes you’re only really feelin’ it for a half. That was certainly the case with RJ Davis, who became a supernova almost as soon as the whistle blew in the second. As mentioned above, the guard was named Tar Heel Blog’s Player of the Game on the back of his 22-point second half on a night when his teammate Caleb Love really wasn’t feelin’ it.

Sometimes, you’re just feelin’ it. In the first half of Wednesday’s game against Wake Forest, Leaky Black was doing just that.