ACC Basketball Tourney Quarterfinal: Game Two Running Diary, UNC/Louisville

UPDATED 4:43 PM  UNC closes out U of L on 13-4 run, wins 70-60, moves on to face UVA in the early semi-final tomorrow night.

  • Blackshear hits a three, Pitino with the quick TO. Now U of L with just one TO remaining. Still trailing by 4.
  • Johnson makes an ill-advised pass that U of L intercepts. Very bad possession by Cards with Quentin Snider taking a mid-range jumper with the Carolina trees in his face.
  • Paige gets to shoot, U of L in the bonus, at 85% he’s a lock. UNC up by 6. Under a minute to play.
  • Snider for three from WAY too deep, why is he on the floor? That might be the irrational confidence leader at the midpoint of the ACC tourney, the way he jacked without conscience earlier in the clocks from areas he’s not accurate from. Louisville misses the play of Chris Jones.
  • Justin Jackson converts two FTs (68-60 UNC, U of L unraveling) at 40 secs left.
  • Blackshear way off on his three, Brice Johnson cherrypicking, gets fouled on his dunk attempt. He makes both, and UNC leads by 10. Game over.
  • Louisville turned it over on their meaningless final possession. As UNC locks it up 70-60.
  • In spite of the final score, the game did contain multiple lead changes.



Well it appears Brice Johnson certainly read my halftime thoughts. His performance and the steady if unspectacular play of Marcus Paige sealed the win for Carolina. Louisville isn’t a very smart team. They seem to always forget they can’t shoot 3-pointers with any reliability and then go out and put up three after three every night (4-for-21 in this game). That’s especially puzzling in a late game situation down six points. with plenty of time left. They took a three, missed, and took themselves out of the game by waiting to foul and then hacking the best shooter on the court. One thing is certain, in Louisville’s first season in the ACC this match up has become an instant rivalry.



  • Brice Johnson with a bucket in deep and then a putback, UNC up three.
  • Bad foul on Harrell who couldn’t corral the rebound, just his second. He also just picked up his 25th career-double, (14/12 so far)
  • Kennedy Meeks on a putback, and UNC leads by five. Pitino gets a TO.
  • Out of the TO, the play runs to Harrell who misses both FTs.
  • Kennedy Meeks with a big tip-in and now UNC up 7 as we head to the under 4 TV TO.

–Chuck Workman





  • Brice Johnson continues his assault, drawing a foul with deep position and burying those FTs.
  • Then converting another jumper as assigned defender for U of L Chinanu Onuaku isn’t giving the shot any respect.
  • Wayne Blackshear answers with a three, to cut the UNC lead to one.
  • Harrell gets fouled and knocks down both ends of the one and one. Louisville regains the lead as we approach the next TV timeout.
  • Johnson with a sharp feed to Meeks for the layin, and UNC leads again, it’s the ninth lead change today.
  • Another Oop as UNC let Harrell get behind them.  Louisville up 1. 10 lead changes, as the under 8 TO hits with 7 and change to play.

–Chuck Workman

UPDATED 4:11 PM At The Under Twelve TO

  • Roy is the TO genius, which is why an 18 point lead with five minutes left never fazes him if he has his full compliment of timeouts. His guys execute. And Paige reclaims the UNC lead with a three right out of the break.
  • Kennedy Meeks got 8 inches off the floor to make that block, he could have just tapped it to himself, but it went out. This, as opposed to the Bill Russell, we call the Shaq.
  • Joey Berry now on foul watch with 3. Between him and Hicks, they need to have one available.
  • And THAT MOVES THE DIAL: A huge oop from the Cards Quentin Snider to Trez. Cards back in front 50-48.
  • But Brice Johnson following up on yesterday’s consistent effort, is not in the mood to loose. He hits a big jumper on the secondary break on a dish from Berry.
  • FTs becoming a problem for Louisville. UNC Is making theirs (7-9) U of L (10-16). In a game decided by a possession or less, that will be one that fans/team alike will be unable to stomach.
  • Right now UNC at 19-44, Louisville at 19-45 from the field.
  • This game is destined for OT.

–Chuck Workman


  • Right out of the gate Brice Johson dishes to an open Paige for three. Crowd ebullient! Then Paige makes the steal and dishes to Johnson who beat everyone down the floor. Game tied, and yet another early second half TO by Pitino. Whose teams always seem to come out of breaks flat. I’d wager that in at least five games I’ve seen I’ve noticed this trend.
  • After the Pitino TO, Johnson continues to be assertive draws two fouls. Converts four FTs to give the Carolina the lead for the first time since 7-5.
  • Harrell ties it up with a huge rebound/dunk, reminiscent of Dominique Wilkins in it’s ferocity.
  • Terry Rozier getting hot scores 5 quick points, but Justin Jackson is not giving in, scoring twice.
  • Louisville leads by 1 in front of this hostile crowd, but they also led at UNC earlier this year before blowing it down the stretch. The under 16 TO came at 14:41.

–Chuck Workman




These two teams are very similar to my eyes. Neither seems particularly motivated (though Louisville is clearly a bit more fired up today) and there doesn’t seem to be a clear plan when it comes to running offense in the halfcourt. Both programs are built to run and when they can’t, things start to run into trouble. The offense grinds and opportunities don’t present themselves due to a lack of efficient ball movement.

Wayne Blackshear playing well is a great sign for the Cardinals. He’s a wildly inconsistent x-factor and when he can score it takes some pressure off Terry Rozier who’s also having a great day so far. UNC needs more from Marcus Paige. Strangely if it weren’t for Joel Berry II and his eight points they’d be in a massive hole here. I think Paige off the ball is the way to go. It worked yesterday and should free him up for more open looks. Getting Joel James, Brice Johnson and Justin Jackson some more paint touches should be beneficial as well.

–Justin Cates

Updated 3:37 PM HALFTIME

  • Rozier broke down Joel Berry so bad on that fadeaway with the foul, Louisville back up 7. Rozier with 11 to lead the charge.
  • Paige sighting! An easy layup to get UNC charged up.
  • Rozier with a bad turnover to Pitino’s chagrin. Louisville gets nothing out of a final performance.
  • Halftime score: 37-32 Louisville.
  • Isaiah Hicks has 3 fouls. Two other UNC players with 2 apiece. Louisville has just five. Louisville also has shot 12 FTs to 5 for UNC. With UNC depicted as a physical team themselves, this should have people on alert. I know I will be watching the refs in the 2nd half.
  • This 2nd half is going to be about as good a battle as you’ll see all year. Tell your friends to stream it at the office.

–Chuck Workman




Updated 3:22 PM

  • U of L has had difficulty all year knocking down 3s, ranking in the 300s, and its not because they aren’t trigger happy. Just inaccurate.
  • Joey Berry II has UNC’s last eight points. As they cut the Cards lead to five.
  • Meeks with four tips at his own miss in close, UNC comes up empty. That would have been a big basket.
  • WB frog hits a 3, he is singing opera so far with 10 pts to lead the Cards. U of L up 10.
  • Two quick Isaiah Hicks buckets cut it to six.
  • But T Rozier calmly buries a jumper off the bounce.
  • We enter the under four TV TO with Louisville leading 32-24.
  • An observation: JP Tokoto opened the game with three assists, I’m not sure that with the attention they are giving Paige that he shouldn’t adopt the Point Forward role. I think entry passed from JP could get Meeks and Johnson started.
  • Harrell has eight boards. Well on his way to another double-double. U of L doesn’t usually lose when he gets into those territories.

–Chuck Workman

Updated 3:10

  • Since the last TV TO, each team has scored one basket, and UNC sporting the ACC Seven Minute scoring drought (FG-wise) which is sponsored by Food Lion.
  • Finally, Wayne B makes a bucket for the Cards, and Joel Berry hits for made a layup and a three in a row. He could be the X factor or Nate Britt. The Cards can’t close out on distance shooters as well without Jones.
  • Rozier with a nice take to go to 23-17 at the under 8 TV TO….that one could have been basket interference on Mathias Mathiang. No call.
  • The pro-UNC crowd being louder in Greensboro than they manage in the Deandome curiously.
  • Under 8: Louisville 23 UNC 17

–Chuck Workman

Updated 2:54PM

  • Two tips by season-finale here Mathok Mathiang, and then an M*M dunk on a nice look from Harrell on the interior.
  • Harrell with a putback, and it’s evident the bigs on Louisville have the UNC bigs under control.
  • Roy deciding to go small. It nets them a FT from Kennedy Meeks.
  • And now we have the scoreless Terry Rozier hitting, and then taking it into the teeth of a charge, with UNC down 17-10,  the Heels should consider themselves fortunate.
  • At the under twelve TO U of L leads the Tar Heels in front of all the baby blue clad attire adorning the stands. The Cards are up 7, and Harrell has control of the glass. Brice Johnson has been a no-show thru the under 12, at 1-5 from FG, and ZERO rebounds. No excuses here UNC, You match up well size-wise, and got it done against this club once before, though that U Of L team featured the mercurial PG Chris Jones, so in his dismissal, Coach Williams has had to revamp his game plan to a more slow down Cardinal team here.

–Chuck Workman

Updated 2:36 PM 

  • The rubber match for the season, as the teams split.
  • Montrezl Harrell out to prove his 2nd team all-ACC selection was a political snub, starts out dominating with 4 pt and 3 rebounds.
  • Big three point play by Wayne Blackshear was encouraging. The WB frog waxes and wanes as pertains to his level of aggressiveness. He is going to be looking at JP Tokoto all day, a high energy player. Cards fans hope that WB can match the intensity, rather than staying in his box and ribbiting when the spotlight comes on.
  • U of L needs to keep Harrell in the paint to mitigate against a big Carolina team that is going to crash that offensive glass. The stick figures Pitino throws down on the block at the five spot are going to get manhandled and face foul trouble if they aren’t careful. UNC’s Brice Johnson has been taking no prisoners as of late.
  • We go into the under 16 TV TO with the game tied at 9.

–Chuck Workman

Updated 1:59 The End of the UVA/FSU game will precede the U of L/UNC coverage.

First allow me to preface this with apologies to the UVA/Seminoles crowd for the late arrival, and offer an olive branch, with a look at the final five minutes. As I sit to write this, UVA is leading 46-39 after having weathered a fierce little FSU run. FSU has been getting frustrated lately by calls, and no-calls, and Leonard Hamilton picked up a T. Not so sure that was the best strategy, but sometimes you have to let ’em know how you feel.

  • UVA is up 48-40, and Mike Tobey just manhandled Cofer and then dunked it, perhaps Len Hamilton’s T paid dividends there as the contact appeared incidental. The fact that Tobey won that battle was to his detriment. A dunk is waved off, FSU ball at the under four TV TO.
  • Looking thru the stats, this game is fairly evenly played.
  • XRM has been held way down finding it difficult to score, he had 30+ yesterday and now is scuffling along with a team leading 13 pts. FSU has been far too reliant on him as he has 16 shots, and no other Seminole has more than five. Lack of balance appears to be the killer.
  • Across other metrics. Rebounds (slightly to UVA), Assists (2-1 UVA, demonstrating superior teamwork), Steals, Blocks.
  • Very nice btw, today to see Justin Anderson getting some bench minutes as he works his way back into shape. Tony Bennett has every intention of trying to retain the ACC Tourney and Regular season dual title belt.
  • And this UVA team is pulling back away with a nice bucket by Tobey, following a Brogdon effort. The lead is 12 with under a minute to go. And that superior Wahoo defense, girded by the philosophy of the Dick Bennett Pack Line is once again proving superior against impatient teams. The Cavs shooting 48%, with FSU being less selective we have them scuffling along at 33%. And a major culprit of this is FSU going 3-of-17 from beyond the arc. UVA only made 3 themselves, but shot it up 10 less times. Those are 10 possessions out of a game’s worth of 60(ish) that were flushed down the toilet.
  • UVA is famous for giving us exactly what we expect out of them. They have a formula that only one team (well 2, if you count U of L vs an incomplete Wahoo team in the finale)
  • UVA wins 58-44 going away. Typical game of both FSU and UVA.

–Chuck Workman





Leave a Reply