It wasn’t pretty at times yesterday, but we’re at the time of year where it doesn’t matter how the game looks. It only matters if you win.
In their 68-58 win over Clemson in the second round of the ACC Women’s Tournament yesterday, the Tar Heels started out scorching hot from the field. In the first quarter they shot 52.9% overall and 55.6% from three, with Eva Hodgson going 3-4 from behind the arc. It looked like it was going to be a runaway, but Clemson doggedly never let the Tar Heels get any farther ahead than 14. The fourth quarter was especially slow, as Clemson had narrowed it to seven when the horn sounded, but Carolina was able to hold on and win by ten.
Alyssa Ustby led the Tar Heels with 15 points, and it likely would have been more had she not been saddled with four fouls pretty early in the third quarter. Deja Kelly also battled foul trouble at the same time, which helped explain some of the uneven play. Nevertheless, the Tar Heels won and will play tonight.
Their opponent? For the the third time this season, it’ll be the Duke Blue Devils. The second-seeded Blue Devils are likely still smarting over all of the things that the Tar Heels managed to take from them last weekend — namely a perfect home record and a share of the ACC Regular Season title. They currently hold a 3 seed in the latest ESPN Bracketology, so they are unlikely to fall out of hosting with a loss tonight, but they are looking to improve their position by taking down the whole tournament.
It is too bad that Carolina couldn’t have a bit of an easier game against the Tigers, but the squad will likely be going to the NIT and were a tough out when the two faced off in South Carolina earlier this season. The Blue Devils play a tough defense that forces you to work, and both games this season have been absolute offensive slogs.
The Tar Heels likely need this game to solidify their position as an opening weekend host. The win last weekend over the Blue Devils nudged them back up to the 4 seed line in the latest projection, but another win over a team at the top of the league would be helpful in not having to spend the next two weeks sweating.
Once again, there are tickets available to root the Heels on in person, but if you can’t make it to Greensboro, here’s how you can catch the action:
- Time: 6:00 PM ET
- Location: Greensboro Coliseum — Greensboro, NC
- TV: ACC Network; Jenn Hildreth with play by play, Debbie Antonelli doing color, and Angel Gray on the sidelines
- 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 193 and 955. You can also listen to them on GoHeels.com, The Varsity Network, and Tune In.
- Streaming: The ACC Network is available on the ESPN App for anyone that has the ACC Network on your cable service, and it’ll also be available through the computer on Watch ESPN