So I don’t like to throw around the word “perfect” a lot…but that was kinda perfect. The Tar Heels dominated the Miami Hurricanes from the opening whistle on their way to a 78-53 victory.
As the great MJ would say, “the ceiling is the roof”.
Everything was working, including a completely bogus three pointer from Theo Pinson that was intended as a Isiah Hicks alley oop. Just absurd to watch a team have so much success, even in the most backwards ways.
Those that know me understand I have a little bit of negative bias towards the Tar Heels. I try to steer away from that as much as I can, but even if I wanted to go full Blue Blood Hate Mode on UNC’s team this year, I just can’t. I have been saying since December that they are the best team in the country. Despite the occasional slip up here and there, when Carolina has everyone clicking, there is not a better, deeper, more balanced team in the nation.
Think about it. You have Justin Jackson, ACC Player of the Year, who can do it all. The size to drive, rebound, and defend. The stroke to make you respect his outside game. And the quickness and fluidity as a ball handler that allows him to run the offense if the situation ever arises, like on the fast break.
Joel Berry is a lightning rod, and once he gets hot just get out of his way. He takes care of the ball, and is just reliable. Kennedy Meeks and Isiah Hicks may be the most unheralded front court in the league. Hicks exploded for 19 today, and Meeks was his normal space creating self, knocking on the door of a triple double. The only thing I’m waiting for is Tony Bradley to explode. He looks like he should be so good. He’s a perfect blend of Jackson and Hicks. This is looking ahead, but he will be an animal next year, if not at some point in March.
Miami looked baffled, and if you don’t believe me, go find some replays and check on the look on Jim Larranaga’s face. What’s the old Mike Tyson quote? “Everyone has a plan until they get punched in the mouth”. Tyson probably did not say it quite as eloquently, but that is what happened to Miami today. They came out chucking threes as expected, but only converted at a 23% clip. As that hole grew deeper and deeper, the desperation took over. Outside of Bruce Brown’s 21 points, Davon Reed was the Canes second leading scorer with just 7.
A tough showing for the Canes, who are looking to land somewhere around an 11 seed in the NCAA tournament. UNC is set to face the winner of this Duke/Louisville, which is sure to be a brutal contest. Please give us Duke vs UNC again. We deserve it. The world deserves it.