North Carolina stretches ACC lead to 2 games with defeat of Cards

Malcolm Fuller
February 24, 2017

"I thought we came out with a lot of energy and focus", head coach Wes Moore said.

With the Tar Heels now within striking distance of the ACC regular season title, his game against Louisville was another mark in his favor in the ACC Player of the Year race. Defensively, North Carolina is allowing teams to score 71 points per game.

"We didn't shoot it well", junior Theo Pinson said. "I mean, we're North Carolina". It only resulted in eight second chance points, but armed with the lead for most of the game, it kept the ball away from Louisville.

Though, Coach Pitino declined to say what exactly the fan said that set him off. "It was good for us to hit some shots and get some confidence".

This season is just another example of UNC digging its heels in (sorry, no pun intended) at the ideal time.

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UNC has looked like a defensive stalwart of late, but the Tar Heels have struggled to maintain that defensive dominance against inferior opponents. After the game, Pitino said North Carolina is a "classy place" despite the fan's behavior.

North Carolina coach Roy Williams told the press that he was not aware of the incident until after the game, but said he apologized to his rival coach. Donovan Mitchell is averaging 15.6 points and 4.7 rebounds per game to lead the team while Quentin Snider is adding 12.5 points per contest. Louisville was 5 of 20 on 3-pointers, 4 of 13 on free throws and lost 16 turnovers, which led to 14 UNC points.

Pitino offered a bit of clarity on the situation in his post game presser. "I just feel there's no excuse for poor foul shooting".

Oh! And while No. 10, now second-placed Duke's at-the-buzzer loss to Syracuse certainly helps the Tar Heels' argument, the Blue Devils could still be poised to end up as the ACC's top seed heading up to Brooklyn.

Louisville is coming off a thrilling 94-90 victory over Virginia Tech on Saturday, as both teams shot over 50 percent from the floor. Louisville was 0 for 6 on first-half 3s. "Every time we go out whether it's practice or just shootaround, no matter what it is, we have to remember those four seconds". When the night is over, expect Berry to have at least 15 points and four made three-point field goals.

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