The North Carolina Tar Heels suffered a blow out loss 87-61 against the Miami Hurricanes, but it was game nobody expected UNC to win. Miami is clearly the second best team in the ACC behind the Duke Blue Devils, and the ‘Canes are making a strong case for being at just about the same talent level as Duke. I do think that Miami is better than Duke without Ryan Kelly, and Miami is one of the most experienced and deep teams in the country.
The No. 8 Hurricanes put on an offensive display of force in this game, and they knocked down 15 three-pointers whilst flexing their perimeter shooting muscles. Shane Larkin led the way with 18 points and was 5-8 from downtown, and he also dished nine assists with four rebounds to chip in. The Hurricanes out-shot, out-passed, and out-rebounded their opponents, and the only advantage UNC held was on turnovers (13-9).
Durand Scott and the always exciting Kenny Kadji had 17 points each for Miami, and they both added six rebounds to the stat sheet. The difference was that Scott was able to fill up the entire sheet, as he dished out five dimes and stole three passes. In fact, Scott was the only player on the Hurricanes who had a steal.
The Tar Heels shot just 6-20 from downtown, and Marcus Paige was extremely poor in that regard going 0-5 from deep and shooting 11.1% from the floor in total. Paige did lead the team with four assists and even added in three rebounds, but scoring two points on nine shots is just incredibly inefficient. The Heels were inefficient in Coral Gables as a whole, but guys like Reggie Bullock, Leslie McDonald, Jackson Simmons, and even P.J. Hairston can hold their heads high.
Bullock was easily the MVP for the Heels in the loss with a team-high 14 points and seven rebounds, and he was a crisp 5-8 from the floor and took charge for the Heels. The other guys listed played decently well, but nobody else other than Bullock truly stepped up. James Michael McAdoo was atrocious, as he led the team with three turnovers and was just 3-12 from the floor. Yeah, he had just as many turnovers as shots made and averaged 0.5 points per shot.
The Hurricanes averaged 1.28 points per play, while the Tar Heels managed to average just .90 points per trip. That’s not terrible, but they were clearly unable to keep up the scorching and, dare I say, elite Hurricanes who had a ridiculous 67.5 effective field goal percentage. After this performance, I am an even bigger believer in the ‘Canes.
As UNC Tar Heels head coach Roy Williams put it so perfectly, “Everybody from North Carolina always thinks it’s just about North Carolina. It’s not. Miami is pretty dadgum good.”
Yes, let’s make it about the Hurricanes; they are one of the best teams in the country.
You can follow Joe Soriano on Twitter @SorianoJoe.