3 Important Observations from North Carolina's Blowout Win Over Notre Dame

This looks like a team that can win a title if a couple issues get solved
Harrison Ingram shot poorly but still pulled down 14 rebounds against Notre Dame
Harrison Ingram shot poorly but still pulled down 14 rebounds against Notre Dame / Jim Dedmon-USA TODAY Sports
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North Carolina decimated a disappointing Notre Dame squad 84-51 Tuesday night, clinching at least a share of the ACC title as the Tar Heels travel to Duke to close the season against their biggest rival.

This is the first time since 2012 that the two blue bloods will play for at least a share of the conference championship, setting up an epic battle between two squads with realistic NCAA Championship hopes.

As we gear up for one of the best games of the year, let's first note three key observations from the Tar Heels' win over the Fighting Irish.

3 Important Observations from North Carolina's Win Over Notre Dame

1. Tar Heels' Defense in Postseason Form

If North Carolina makes a deep run in March Madness and completes the season sweep of Duke, it'll likely be because of RJ Davis' offensive brilliance and a menacing defense that's among the nation's best.

The Tar Heels rank 10th nationally in opponent effective field goal percentage (45.9%) and are particularly fierce down low with Armando Bacot roaming the paint, with the 19th-best opponent two-point shooting percentage (45.6%). That defensive excellence was on full display on Tuesday night, as Notre Dame shot just 30.5% from the field and scored only 51 total points.

Notre Dame is one of the worst offensive teams in the country, but North Carolina smothered them as they should have. The Tar Heels had six steals and six blocks, ensuring the game was never in doubt despite a poor shooting night from Harrison Ingram and several role players.

While North Carolina has struggled to force turnovers for most of the season, the six steals were encouraging. Freshman Elliot Cadeau had three of those swipes, giving him three straight games with at least one.

If Cadeau can provide a defensive spark off the bench to go alongside the Tar Heels' established veterans, the team will be in great shape to go on a deep run relying on that menacing interior defense and improving perimeter one. North Carolina's last four opponents averaged just 61.5 points per game, a great sign moving forward to the postseason.