The Tar Heels will look to Monday’s make-up game as a get-well game.
UNC is reeling after losing back-to-back games by a combined 50 points. That’s the first time that’s happened to a Carolina team since the 20-loss season of 2001-2002. That year the Heels lost to UConn 86-54 on Jan. 19 and to NC State, 77-59, four days later.
This time around, UNC has dropped a pair of road games, losing to Miami, 86-57 and Wake Forest, 98-76. It’s the first back-to-back losses by 20 or more points for the Heels since earlier in that 20-loss season. On Jan. 5 and 9, UNC lost to Wake Forest 84-62 and Maryland, 112-79.
Wake was ranked No. 23 that year and Maryland No. 4. This past week, the Hurricanes and Demon Deacons were both unranked at game time. The last time UNC lost by 20-plus to back-to-back unranked foes was 1955, when UNC lost to Duke 91-68, then Virginia, 98-73.
Needless to say, Carolina needs a win, and a home tilt against Virginia Tech will give Carolina an excellent opportunity. The Hokies are 10-8, 2-5 in the ACC, and lost last time out at Boston College, 68-63. Prior to that, the Hokies won two straight following a three-game skid.
This game was originally scheduled for Dec. 28, but positive COVID tests in the Virginia Tech program forced it to be postponed. As a result, the Heels will play four games in eight days, starting with Saturday night’s trip to Wake Forest. The next three games—Monday against Tech, Wednesday against Boston College and Saturday against NC State—are all at home.
Tonight’s officials are Jamie Luckie, Lamar Simpson and Brent Hampton.
Your starters: Leaky Black, Caleb Love, RJ Davis, Armando Bacot, Brady Manek.
Tar Heels out fast as Bacot gets 12 of the first 14 points underneath. Leaky Black hits from deep and then tries a heat check next possession. That kind of a start for Carolina.
Tech gets five to cut into the lead, and at the under 12, it’s 17-11 UNC.
Leaky hits again, this time from inside the arc. He’s firing away tonight. Four shot attempts in just over 10 minutes.
UNC has gone cold, missing 10 of 11 shots, and Tech ties things at 19. Hokies are 3-of-7 from three.
Manek hits a three to snap a 1-of-13, 0-of-7 slump for the Heels.
At the under 8, UNC leads 22-21. UNC has six offensive rebounds but just two second chance points. Nothing falling for the Heels early.
At the under 4, Tech leads 28-27. Heels shooting .367, Tech shooting .522
Virginia Tech’s N’Guessan misses a dunk and gets a technical for hanging on the rim. UNC ties the score on the free throw. Love hits a three on the ensuing possession.
Davis hits, extending UNC’s run to 8-0. Tech calls time. 34.7 seconds left in the half, UNC up 35-30.
We hit the half with UNC up 37-33.
Bacot misses two short shots, Leaky Black with a charge. Tech scores first five points after half to retake the lead.
Davis with a driving layup. Love with a three, and UNC is up 44-40 at the under 16.
Leaky Black with his second three-pointer. He had two all season.
Leaky’s last multi-trey game: ACC Tournament last year also against Va Tech
Aluma with a shove of Bacot following the Storm Murphy foul of McCoy. Refs are at the monitor. While play was stopped and the refs were headed there, Bacot walked into Mutts while headed for the UNC bench.
Refs call a double technical. Didn’t really need to go to the monitor if they were just going to do that
We head to the under 12 with UNC up 52-46
Hokies on a 6-0 run as UNC has gone cold again. Missed the last 9 shots.
Love misses a three (10 straight misses for Heels) and Bacot saves it off of a Hokie, taking us to the under 8. UNC up 54-52.
UNC is 6-of-20 on layups. Heels are shooting .217 from the field this half and 2-of-15 from two.
Manek ends the UNC drought with a three, then keeps the run going with a dunk. At the under four, UNC lead is up to 62-54.
After the time out, Manek for three puts the lead in double digits
Bacot fouls out with 2:29 left. He started 6-of-6, then went 1-of-13 the rest of the way.
UNC gets back into the win column, knocking off Va Tech, 78-68.