UNC Basketball: Tar Heels run over Michigan in ACC/Big Ten Challenge


North Carolina overpowers Michigan at the Dean Dome.

For the first time since the 1993 NCAA Championship game, North Carolina and Michigan squared off.

Fans may recall Chris Webber’s infamous timeout call that his Wolverines did not have. As a result, Michigan was hit with a technical foul. Ultimately, North Carolina won that contest by a 77-71 score.

Unfortunately for the Wolverines, the game on Wednesday night was not as close. North Carolina ran over Michigan 86-71.

Coming out in the first half, the Tar Heels looked determined to regroup after a rough duel with Michigan State in the PK80 Tournament. North Carolina scored 51 points in the first frame while shooting about 65 percent from the field and 60% from beyond the arc.

They would finish the game shooting 55 percent from the field and 47 percent from deep.

North Carolina took a 51-37 lead into the halftime break.

After the intermission, the Tar Heels would absolutely take over. Before two minutes had surpassed in the second half, they held a 20 point lead and never looked back.

However, the Wolverines sliced the UNC lead late in the second half.

Much of North Carolina’s offensive success could be attributed to their control of the tempo. As ESPN’s Dick Vitale keenly pointed out, Michigan is uncomfortable playing an up-tempo contest. The Wolverines are patient on offense.

North Carolina’s frantic pace keep Michigan off balance, speeding their game up to an ineffective level.

The Tar Heels were led in the scoring column by Luke Maye. He tallied 27 points, while shooting 11-16 from the field.

Senior Joel Berry added 17 points and Kenny Williams added 15.

For Michigan, fans of can look back on this contest and remember the solid play of Moritz Wagner. He finished with 20 points, 9 rebounds, all while shooting about 70% from the field.

Player of the game

Luke Maye was the most important player tonight for the Tar Heels. Michigan brought a skilled frontcourt to Chapel Hill. The Wolverines were led down low by Moritz Wagner, and incredibly talented inside and out player.

It was the task of Maye to alleviate the stress put on by Wagner and other Michigan big men.

While Wagner finished with 20 points and 9 rebounds, Maye did a nice job challenging him on both ends.

As described in Maye’s boxscore, many of his 27 points came from in the paint. Additionally, he finished with 6 rebounds.

Notable statistic

Arguably the most impressive statistic is the Tar Heels 24 assists.

The ball was not sticking on this night, as players were making extra passes and ensuring they were getting the best possible shot.

However, the Tar Heels also impressed on the glass.

They outrebounded Michigan 37-31. This is an encouraging sign, as the perceived frontcourt strength of Michigan was stifled by North Carolina.

Next up

The Tar Heels return to the hardwood on Friday. They are set to face-off with the Wildcats of Davidson in Charlotte for a neutral court game.

Davidson will enter that contest with a 3-2 record as UNC looks to improve to 7-1 on the early season.