The North Carolina Tar Heels are now 0-2 in ACC play after another disappointing loss, and this time it came against the Miami Hurricanes in 68-59 fashion. Losing to 11-3 Miami isn’t the worst thing in the world, but UNC is clearly not where most of us thought they would be and they are not near where they should be based on the talent and depth of this squad.
But when you take a close look at the numbers, the Tar Heels nine-point margin of defeat doesn’t do them nearly enough justice. Miami had one more turnover, two less rebounds, and the only clear advantage they held was in field goal percentage. And therein lies the reason why UNC lost, they won every battle except the most important one; the battle to be the more efficient squad.
The Tar Heels shot just 40% from the floor, which is the same exact shooting percentage they had from beyond the arc. The Hurricanes, meanwhile, had a 55.7 eFG% and were very efficient despite having a much worse day from downtown. The Hurricanes were led by efficient days from leaders Kenny Kadji and Julian Gamble, who had 18 and 14 points respectively.
UNC, on the other hand, received inefficient offensive performances from three of their best players in James Michael McAdoo, P.J. Hairston, and Reggie Bullock. The last name on that list was the most disappointing, as Bullock chucked up a 4-16 line with four turnovers and looked awful in most facets of the game.
On the bright side, freshman point guard Marcus Paige was efficient on offense and dished out five assists. Brice Johnson was UNC’s only legitimate player in the game with ten points off the bench on a 5-8 line.
This was a great win for Miami and for Gamble (heart-warming story), but it also continues the disappointment for UNC. I still have hope that this team can bounce-back, because the Heels were only beat in one category of the game. However, they were beaten significantly in that category (offensive efficiency), which is also the most important part of the game.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.