A few days ago the North Carolina Tar Heels were reeling after a complete meltdown that led to a home loss against Duke. Just three days later, with first place in the ACC on the line, Roy Williams’ bunch throttled No. 11 Miami 96-71 in a game that wasn’t as close as the score would indicate.
The No. 5 Tar Heels (22-5, 11-3 ACC) entered the season with incredibly high expectations and have mostly lived up to their billing. Early season road losses to Northern Iowa and Texas can largely be excused, and now with four regular season games left North Carolina is poised to win the ACC and potentially grab a No. 1 seed in the NCAA Tournament.
Things looked bleak after that Duke loss. A battered and undermanned Blue Devils team trailed 68-60 with 6:49 left in the game but managed to stun the Heels with a 74-73 comeback win. Williams and company looked completely lost down the stretch of that game and no one seemed to have any answers for how or why it happened. They were a vulnerable team with weaknesses that could be exploited.
After thumping Miami, all seems right in Chapel Hill. Senior post man Brice Johnson led the way with 16 points and 15 boards for his 16th double-double of the season while also nailing this full-court shot after the first half buzzer:
Maybe that loss to Duke was just what North Carolina needed to refocus itself.
In what has been an absolutely insane college basketball season, the Tar Heels look like one of the few solid bets out there. With seniors at point guard (Marcus Paige) and in the post (Johnson), and double figure scorers in Justin Jackson, Joel Berry II and Kennedy Meeks, North Carolina has experience and depth paired with a coach who knows how to win a title.
On Saturday the Tar Heels sent a message that they’re still in it and might be poised to do something special