North Carolina needed an edge on the road in Tallahassee and they discovered on the backboard dominating the glass with 41 rebounds to Florida States 19. Florida State has the reputation over the years of being tough defensively and dominate on the backboards. The question is what did North Carolina do to create such an advantage on the offensive and defensive backboard?
This post will be one of my shorter ones of the year because the answer is simple. The Tar Heels brought more energy to the floor and it showed as they won a majority of the 50-50 balls that have eluded UNC this season. The Tar Heels exerted energy on the backboards, but their shot selection was equally important Saturday as the Tar Heels had fourteen offensive rebounds. When the Tar Heels move the ball offensively and look for a solid shot the post players are in better position for rebounds and Jackson Simmons came up huge with four on the offensive end.
North Carolina had more energy running after loose balls than anytime this season. This fueled the fast break and changed momentum in the game. For the first time all year you could watch North Carolina have an empty offensive possession and have confidence they would make a stop on defense. The Tar Heels were excellent at limiting Florida state to one shot per possession and this will be crucial to North Carolina’s improvement in the ACC.