A couple lingering thoughts from the North Carolina's 86-74 victory against N.C. State on Tuesday night:
- Strange victory for the Tar Heels given they abandoned the usual script to win this game – and still won it somewhat convincingly. UNC dominated the lane the first time these teams met, back in January, and especially dominated in offensive rebounding. But the Wolfpack controlled the lane, outscoring UNC 42-22 in the paint, and 16-8 off second-chance points.
- In fact, if you look at the box score, you see that N.C. State took 13 more shots from the field and outscored UNC in the paint, off of turnovers, on second-chance points, on fast-break points and in points off the bench. The major difference, of course, was 3-point shooting. The Heels made 10 of their 19 attempts, while the Pack made just 3 of 13.
- This might seem like the dummy statement of the year but it’s so true with the Tar Heels: They’re such a different team when the outside shots are falling. Every team is a better team when it’s making shots, of course, but UNC becomes significantly better because it’s a good team even when the outside shots aren’t falling. UNC has learned this season to get by without much of a perimeter offensive game that when those shots go in, it’s like a bonus.