This was a different of toughness.
"Toughness is doing the right thing," Williams said, lamenting the turnovers, missed field goal attempts, and missed free throws his team had down the stretch. "Toughness is the mental part. "It's not just fighting. I mean, it's not just diving on the floor. Toughness to me is more of a mental state."
The Tar Heels, who won the first meeting over the Eagles by 32 points, nearly blew all of a 15-point second-half cushion before getting their 10th win in 12 ACC outings.
They were very much looking at the potential for a third league loss when freshman guard Kendall Marshall missed a jumper with 38 seconds left and BC got the rebound to set up its last play.
The Tar Heels escaped when a three-point attempt by BC guard Reggie Jackson rimmed out, and they took possession with less than a second remaining when the rebound went out-of-bounds.
"It's very disappointing because, at this point in time, we have become a good team," freshman forward Harrison Barnes said. "We've got a lot of good wins underneath our belt. But we almost threw it away tonight."
-- North Carolina reached the 20-win level for the 53rd time in school history and a seventh consecutive time under coach Roy Williams with a Feb. 19 win over Boston College. The Tar Heels have 10 ACC wins for the 35th time overall and sixth time in the last seven years.
-- The 48 points the Tar Heels scored in the two-point win over Boston College were the fewest for the Heels in 361 games in Chapel Hill's Smith Center. The previous low for the Heels in the facility was 50 in an eight-point win over Princeton in 1997. The 48 points are the fewest in a North Carolina win since a 45-44 win at North Carolina State in 1997.
-- So much for shooting being the key to victory. In their last three wins, the Tar Heels have failed to top the 40 percent mark from the field (37.7 vs. Clemson, 36.6 vs. Wake Forest, 36.8 vs. BC). The opponents obviously helped by shooting only 34.4, 37.7, and 26.9 percent, respectively.
BY THE NUMBERS: 8 -- The number of free throws North Carolina shot against BC, a season low to go along with a season-low four makes.
QUOTE TO NOTE: "Sometimes it's the old saying you've got to be lucky or good, but I'd like to be lucky and good both. And at times, I think this team is really good." -- Coach Roy Williams, after his Tar Heels held on for a two-point win over Boston College.
STRATEGY AND PERSONNEL
THIS WEEK'S GAMES:
-- at North Carolina State, Feb. 23
KEY MATCHUPS: The Tar Heels won by 20 in the first meeting with the Wolfpack back on Jan. 29. Freshmen came off the bench to play big roles for N.C. State. G Lorenzo Brown scored 20 points and seven assists, and F C.J. Leslie added 14 points and seven rebounds. The Tar Heels limited Wolfpack senior F Tracy Smith to just 12 points and three rebounds before he fouled out.
-- vs. Maryland, Feb. 27
KEY MATCHUPS: The two teams have had some classic matchups in the past. The upfront work of Carolina's John Henson and Tyler Zeller against Maryland sophomore Jordan Williams, who is averaging a double-double in conference play in scoring and rebounds, could be decisive.
FUTURES MARKET: Freshman G Kendall Marshall's main responsibility is to run the offense, but he also can score if needed. His five field goals in eight shots against Boston College (10 points) on Feb. 19 were a season high. Marshall had only three points in the previous game against Wake Forest but scored 18 before that in the win at Clemson. He was 10-of-11 from the free throw line against the Tigers but didn't gone to the stripe against Wake or BC.
-- Sophomore F John Henson had 12 rebounds but his streak of double-doubles ended at four games when he scored only six points against BC. He was only 3-of-11 from the field.
-- Junior F Tyler Zeller scored 16 points against the Eagles, extending his streak of double-digit scoring performances to seven in a row, the longest such streak in his career.