UNC Men’s Basketball takes Pittsburgh to fourth straight road loss win

In the first conference game since December 10, the No. 25 North Carolina Men’s Basketball Team (9-5, 1-2 ACC) upset Pittsburgh (10-4, 3-0 ACC) by a score of 76-74. I was. .

What’s wrong?

UNC’s four-game winning streak was marked by a heavy reliance on senior center Armando Bako. The trend continued on Friday, with Baccott’s teammates looking for him in the early post-ups and his preseason National Player of the Year teasing his matchups and clearing the glass.

Bacot finished the first half with 10 points and 9 rebounds, including 5 offensive rebounds. Combined with a three-point barrage, UNC shot 6-13 from deep in the first half – the Tar Heels took control of the game early on, opening the game with an 11-0 run halfway through the first half, 26-17. led by

Pitt fought back a bit with a spaced pick-and-roll offense that allowed players to go one-on-one against UNC’s perimeter defenders. Panther guard Jamalius Burton benefited the most, scoring his 15 points in the first half on a 7-9 shooting. Pitt tied the game with his 30 before UNC took the lead again, ending the first half at 40-34.

UNC continued to create open 3-point shots whenever Pitt double-teamed Baccott at the post. However, no shots were taken and the Tar Heels went 3 to 1-9 in the second half.

Pitt went on a relentless one-on-one offense to stay in the game, quickly broken through by the Panthers. Guard Nike Sibande turned the tide with a drive to beat junior guard Caleb Love 57-53. Another of his Sibande drives collapsed his UNC defense and Nellie Cummings created an open 3-pointer to make him 57-56.

Two back-to-back Bako post scores couldn’t stop the momentum in the pits. Burton drove a first-year DiMarco Dunn, luring a contest from Dunn with a shot fake, drawing a foul, and tying the game at 62.

Burton converted Andwan to give Pitt their first lead since the first minute of the first half.

With Alum forward Pete Nance out of the game, Pitt forward Blake Hinson was mismatched and hit Dunn with a 3-point jumper to give Pitt a 70-67 lead with 1:28 remaining. .

UNC failed to respond on the next possession as Love went out of bounds with 1:03 remaining to give the ball back to the Panthers. After exchanging his throws free for 40 seconds, Davis missed his 3-point pull-up. Pitt immediately scored on a fast break to make it 76–69 with 9.3 seconds remaining, effectively ending the game.

who stood out

Burton’s ruthless rim attack helped him build a career-best 31 points. His success was key to Pitt’s strategy of keeping Baccott out of the paint and extending the floor so the Panthers could attack the rim.

Bacot continued his work as a scoring outlet for Tar Heels. His 22 points and his 13 rebounds not only tarred his heels in the game, but gravity at the post created his shot open.

when did you decide?

UNC attempted an unlikely comeback with Love scoring a quick 3-pointer, forcing a turnover off an inbounds play and first-year wing Tyler Nickel making it 76-74 in seconds on a quick layup, but It flickered. Too little proved too late.

Why is it important?

The upset dropped North Carolina to 1-2 in ACC play, giving it a four-game winning streak. After losing to Pitt in February, the Tar-Heels wanted revenge, but their postseason hopes for the 2021-22 season were all but dashed, leaving Pittsburgh empty-handed instead.

Friday was a test of a troubled UNC defense, but the pit offense used the pick-and-roll offense to bully its way to the rim, outscored UNC 42-26 in the paint and scored 17 attempts. was not comparable. free throw line.

UNC managed only 14 points in the final 12 minutes of the second half until Love’s 3-point shot made it 76–72 in the second half. An over-reliance on Baco on offense may be something head coach Hubert Davis is trying to fix.

When will they play next?

North Carolina will try to weather the ACC’s predicament when it returns to Chapel Hill on January 4 at 9:00 PM to face Wake Forest.


@DHS Sports | |sports@dailytarheel.com

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