UNC-SJU: Game Notes

NEW YORK -- The North Carolina Tar Heels overcame the absence of starting center Sean May to knock off St. John's in the consolation game of the 50th Holiday Festival at Madison Square Garden on Saturday afternoon.

Here is a look at UNC's eighth win in 11 games:

***The Tar Heels improved to 2-2 against the Johnnies. SJU won 72-70 at the Holiday Festival in 1968 and UNC won 64-51 in the tourney in 1983. The Red Storm, known then as the Redmen, defeated UNC in the 1982-83 season-opener, 78-74 in overtime.

***With the win, UNC has equaled last season's total of eight victories all season.

***This was the ninth time in 11 games that UNC has held its opponent under 70 points. The games it didn't: Illinois and Kentucky, which combined to score 190 points. UNC lost both games.

***SJU coach Mike Jarvis last faced UNC on Dec. 3, 1993, when he was the head coach at George Washington. Jarvis' Colonials, which reached the Sweet 16 the previous season, fell to Dean Smith's Heels 87-62 at the Tournament of Champions in Charlotte.

***Byron sanders started at center for Carolina today, making five different freshmen to start for the Tar Heels this season, which is only 11 games old.

***Carolina defeated Villanova and Princeton in the 1968 Holiday Festival and lost to St. John's. UNC beat Iona and St. John's to win the 1983 Holiday Festival.

***With the win, the Tar Heels are now 25-7 in games played in the current Madison Square Garden.

***UNC's losses in the current Madison Square Garden: Dec., 1968, St. John's (72-70); March, 1970, Manhattan (90-85 OT); March, 1973, Notre Dame (78-71); Nov. 1988, Missouri (91-81); Jan. 1992, Notre Dame (88-76); Nov. 1993, UMass (91-86 OT); Dec. 2002, Iona (65-56).

***UNC defeated Duke, 73-67, at MSG on March 25, 1971, in the postseason NIT. The Tar Heels defeated Georgia Tech, which wasn't yet in the ACC, two days later, 84-66, to win the NIT title.

***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 they 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 on 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 Sanders.

****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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