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Kentucky outlasts North Carolina, 87-83

Too little, too late.

NCAA Basketball: CBS Sports Classic-North Carolina at Kentucky Jordan Godfree-USA TODAY Sports

Well, the narrative continues. North Carolina and Kentucky never fail to produce fireworks. Unfortunately in this round, the Tar Heels fell short with a final score of 87-83.

At times, it felt like the Heels were on the ropes as they trailed by double digits on multiple occasions. But man, even when things weren’t pretty, North Carolina rallied. The Tar Heels were led by 27 from RJ Davis and 20 from Cormac Ryan.

The Wildcats jumped out to an early ten-point lead in the first eight minutes. From that point on, it felt like the Heels were having to inch their way back all the way until the final buzzer.

A quick 8-0 run in the final two minutes of the first half made it a 40-38 game at the break. But coming out of halftime, it was all Cats again. 17 points from freshman phenom Rob Dillingham and double digits from three others made Kentucky extremely difficult to match up with.

North Carolina trailed and couldn’t get over the hump for a majority of the second half, until around eight minutes left, when the Heels came roaring back. After taking their first lead of the game with 5:15 left, Kentucky’s firepower just outmatched UNC down the stretch.

Some of the shots the Wildcats hit you just have to tip your cap to. With that being said, the Heels had chances and couldn’t capitalize. They relied too much on RJ Davis and only led for 16 seconds in this game because of it.

Are you a part of the moral victory crowd? Because if so, you could argue that hanging with one of the most talented rosters in the country can be promising in mid-December. On the contrary, however, Ingram and Bacot looked a step behind, and it took way too long for the Tar Heels to figure out how to attack.

I’ll let everyone process in their own way, but these are the ones it hurts to lose. You just hope Hubert Davis and the guys will be better because of it.