UNC-GT: Game Notes

CHAPEL HILL – North Carolina came oh-so-close to yet another discouraging loss on Saturday. But the Tar Heels managed to take a big step in avoiding the dreaded play-in game at the conference tournament by overcoming Georgia Tech, 67-66, at the Dean Smith Center.

Here are some notes from UNC's 15th win in 28 games and fifth Atlantic Coast Conference victory in 14 contests.

***With the win, UNC's all-time record against Tech improved to 54-16.

***Carolina is now 20-4 against Tech in Chapel Hill and 15-3 at the Dean Smith Center.

***UNC's win means the Tar Heels have won nine of the last 11 meetings with the Yellow Jackets.

***UNC's first meeting with Tech was one of the low points to its season. The Tar Heels fell 88-68 in Atlanta, in a game many observers felt the team gave little effort.

***UNC is 9-22 in regular season ACC games over the last two seasons with six of the wins coming against Florida State and Clemson. The other two have come against the Yellow Jackets (twice) and Virginia.

***UNC was outrebounded 38-22 overall and 14-5 in offensive boards.

***Carolina had 20 points off of 19 Tech turnovers. The Jackets had just seven points off 12 UNC turnovers.

***Jawad Williams had one assists and one turnover, bringing his turnover total to only two in Carolina's last three games. He has improved tremendously in this area over the course of the season.

***Rashad McCants played just 11 minutes in the second half. Coach Matt Doherty's reasoning was defense.

***UNC shot 46.9 percent (23-49) and Tech shot 50% (28-56) from the field.

***Carolina attempted 13 more free throws than the Yellow Jackets, making 16 to Tech's six.

***UNC got 37 minutes from its bench after requesting only 24 on Tuesday. Perhaps this is one reason the Heels had enough to earn the victory.

***Entering Saturday's game with Georgia Tech, Carolina's ACC rankings in team categories were No. 7 in scoring, No. 8 in scoring margin, No. 9 in FG%, No. 7 in 3-point FG%, No. 8 in scoring defense, No. 8 in free throw shooting %, No. 5 in FG% defense, No. 6 in 3-point FG% defense, No. 7 in rebounding offense, No. 9 in rebounding defense, No. 9 in rebounding margin, No. 3 in assists, No. 3 in turnover margin, No. 4 in blocked shots, and No. 5 in steals, No. 2 in assists/turnover ratio.

***Virginia's loss at 10-14 Ohio U. on Wednesday dropped the ACC's overall non-conference record to 80-23 (77.6%). The ACC's records against the nation's top conferences: Atlantic 10 (5-2); Big East (9-5); Big Ten (7-5); Big XII (1-0); C-USA (1-2); MWC (0-0); Pac-10 (2-0); SEC (3-5); WAC (1-0). The league also has losses to teams from the America East, Metro Atlantic, Mid-American, and West Coast Conferences.

Senior writer Andrew Jones is in his seventh year with Inside Carolina. He also covers the ACC for the Wilmington Star-News/Morning Star and can be reached via e-mail at: AndrewJones@AM630.net.

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