Carolina finished on a 9-0 run to end the First. Will they continue their momentum in the second half, rather than play the way they played for the first 15 minutes? The end of the lunar eclipse could point to yes. Yes, that’s irrational, but since when is college basketball fandom supposed to be rational?
8:02 pm: 36-31, UNC. Hansbrough opens the second half with the turnaround baseline jumper.
8:03 pm: 38-33, UNC. Hansbrough gets an easy one inside, but Thompson does a not-so-great job on the defensive end.
8:04 pm: 40-33, UNC. Qiuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu…
8:04 pm: 40-36, UNC. Another three-pointer for the Pack. This time it’s Costner.
8:07 pm: 42-36, UNC. Ellington draws a foul and hits two free throws.
At this point, the Pack seem to be letting Hansbrough catch the ball in the lane at will.
8:08 pm: 46-38, UNC. Hickson finally gets a nice shot inside, but Hansbrough hits another easy basket in the lane.
8:09 pm: 48-38, UNC. Q hits an outside shot. Believe me, that’s a big deal. Carolina has the game’s first double-digit lead.
8:15 pm: 52-38, UNC. Ellington gets a layup in transition. The Pack are starting to let this game get away from them. In part, that’s because our defense is finally clamping down.
8:17 pm: 56-38, UNC. Uh-oh. This could get ugly. Ginyard gets a dunk inside, and Hansbourgh gets the steal and dunk on the ensuing possession.
8:17 pm: 56-40, UNC. The Pack finally stop the bleeding.
8:19 pm: Ellington is called for the offensive foul.
8:23 pm: 56-41, UNC. Just for the hell of it:
8:26 pm: 59-42, UNC. Ellington hits another three. He has 16 for the game.
8:27 pm: 59-44, UNC. You know you’re in the country when the big sign below the scorers table reads: “Enjoy North Carolina Peanuts”.
8:28 pm: 63-46, UNC. Carolina’s transition is revving up in the second half. meanwhile, Deon Thompson’s defense is still iffy (perhaps his knee is still not 100%).
8:30 pm: 66-49, UNC. Ellington’s on fire tonight!
8:31 pm: 68-52, UNC. The Wolfpack finally hit a three. If they have anything left in the tank, Sidney Lowe’s team needs to use it now.
8:34 pm: 70-52, UNC. Hansbrough (28 points) finally takes a breather.
8:36 pm: 72-53, UNC. QIUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUU!!!
8:38 pm: 72-58, UNC. Looking for something nice to say…well, Sidney Lowe really knows how to whistle.
8:39 pm: 75-58, UNC. J.J. Hickson has not been a factor in this game.
8:40 pm: 78-58, UNC. It’s one thing to be up against a better team, but it looks like the Wolfpack have just given up. They just let Ginyard drive and dunk from the top of the key. It was awesome, but it shows that Carolina is putting a lot more effort into this game than their opponent.
8:44 pm: 80-60, UNC. Green with the reverse layup.
8:45 pm: 80-62, UNC. Oh, sure. NOW Hickson makes his presence felt in the paint.
8:47 pm: 82-64, UNC. After that nice little shot that hung on the back iron before falling in, it just occured to me: Carolina has completely shut down Gavin Grant in the second half, after he was the leading scorer for the Pack in the first half.
8:50 pm: 82-67, UNC. Oh God, no. Plese tell me Mike Patrick did not just do that, Tell me he did not just compare Hansbrough to Wojo. I know what you’re trying to say, Mike, but that’s the last comparison we need.
8:52 pm: The game goes final: UNC wins, 84-70. An impressive victory for the Heels, who dominated the second half. Hansbrough delivers another spectacular performance, with 32 points, 12 rebounds, and 5 steals. Ellington has 21 points, and Thomas has 10. Carolina is now 25-2, and will next face Dino Gaudio’s red-hot Wake Forest team in Chapel Hill.