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They haven’t been playing great throughout the ACC tournament, but North Carolina is doing what good teams do; they are finding ways to win.
North Carolina has been behind for the most of the tournament thus far. They trailed Miami by 19 points at one point in their first game. Their only lead of the game was the 61-59 final score after a Tyler Zeller game-winning lay-up at the buzzer.
Then against Clemson, trailing for most of the game, finding themselves down 73-66 with four minutes left. UNC went on a 7-0 run to close out the game and force overtime, where Harrison Barnes scored 12 of his freshmen ACC Tournament record 40 points to lead UNC to a 92-87 victory.
Next up for UNC will be the winner of the Virginia Tech-Duke battle in the ACC Championship game. It won’t matter who they play, because if they fall behind like they have the last two games, they won’t make another comeback. Both of these comeback’s the Tar Heels have rallied are both physically and emotionally draining. Playing two games in a row, and with one going into overtime, the legs won’t be 100 percent. The Tar Heels won’t be able to rally a comeback, simply because they will most likely run out of the energy needed to do it. They use an 8 player rotation, barely.
UNC is guaranteed a bid even if they don’t win the tournament. But if they were to win, they could climb to a possible #2 seed in their respective region. There have even been talks of a #1 seed floating around, but that is not going to happen, even if they do win. If they fail to win the tournament, chances are that they will land a #3-6 seed, which, at the same time, isn’t anything to complain about either.
UNC has the tools to make a run with Kendell Marshall seeing the court the way he does and Harrison Barnes knocking down any and all big shots that float his way. John Henson is a defensive force, and Tyler Zeller has been key on the offensive end. You also can’t leave Dexter Strickland hanging around in the open space.
Come NCAA Tournament time, the Tar Heels of North Carolina could be that closet Final Four team that no one expects to make it.