UNC-Illinois: Game Notes

CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- The North Carolina Tar Heels came back to earth some tonight after a 92-65 pounding at the hands of Illinois before an energetic crowd of 16,500 at Assembly Hall in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

Here are the game notes from UNC's first loss in six games:

***Jackie Manuel's limited play in the second half was a result of him suffering from flu-like symptoms, according to Doherty.

***With the loss, Carolina fell to 2-2 all-time against the Illini.

***UNC's previous meetings with Illinois: No. 3 Illinois won 86-56 in Dec., 1951, at Champaign; No. 4 UNC beat No. 5 Illinois, 90-77, in 1986 at Chapel Hill; No. 4 UNC won at un-ranked Illinois, 85-74, in Dec., 1997.

***On March 26, 2000, UNC defeated Tulsa, then coached by current Illini head man Bill Self, 59-55 to win the South Regional and advance to the Final Four. That was the only time a Self-coached team faced the Tar Heels until tonight.

***The Tar Heels were just the second ranked non-conference team to play at UI's Assembly Hall in the last decade. The other team was Seton Hall three years ago. Incidentally, that Pirates' team finished with a 15-16 record.

*** With the loss, UNC is now 34-20 all-time against teams from the Big Ten. The Heels vs. The Big Ten: Illinois (2-2); Indiana (4-7); Iowa (0-2); Michigan (3-2); Michigan State (5-3); Minnesota (3-1); Northwestern (3-1); Ohio State (7-2); Penn State (3-1); Purdue (8-2); Wisconsin (0-0).

*** With the loss, Carolina fell to 0-4 in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge. UNC losses in the Challenge: Home to Michigan State in Dec. 1999 (86-76); at Michigan State in Nov. 2000 (77-64); and at home last December to Indiana (86-76).

***After forcing Kansas and Stanford into 42 turnovers and just 17 assists in New York, Carolina allowed the Illini to amass 23 assists to just 11 turnovers.

***The Champaign Post-Gazette ran a huge cover story today on Carolina basketball being the model for all other programs to try to emulate. It's a must read for any UNC fan.

***Illinois ended the game with a 13-0 run and actually outscored the Tar Heels 28-8 over the final 7:41 of the game.

***The last time Carolina started a season 5-0 was in the 1998-99 campaign, when they won eight games before losing (66-64 to College of Charleston).

***This is Carolina's youngest team ever. UNC has just nine players on basketball scholarship. Five are freshmen, three are sophomore and one is a senior. UNC also has a senior who is on Morehead Scholarship and a freshman who is walking on this year, but will be on scholarship next season. UNC wasn't able to offer David Noel a basketball scholarship this year because there reached their limit regarding the 5/8 rule, meaning a school can't sign more than five players in one year and eight over a two year stretch.

***Over the first 49 years of ACC basketball, UNC has averaged eight juniors and seniors its preseason rosters. Prior to this year the fewest number of juniors and seniors on a roster was four, which was in the 1990-91 season when UNC had three senior starters (Rick Fox, King Rice, Pete Chilcut) and junior starter Hubert Davis.

***According to the Syracuse Post-Standard, Carolina is the youngest team in the nation.

***UNC started three freshmen in the opening game this season for the first time ever. Tonight's starting lineup: Sophomores Jackie Manuel and Jawad Williams and freshmen McCants, Felton and May.

****Scott and Manuel were the first freshmen to start in backcourt together last year.

***Jawad Williams was the 17th freshman to ever start his first game for UNC last year. That number is now up to 20.

Senior writer Andrew Jones is in his seventh year with Inside Carolina. He hosts a late afternoon radio show on ESPN Radio, WMFD AM630 in Wilmington and can be reached via e-mail at: AndrewJones@AM630.net.

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