How great would it be to have two of the best basketball players in the world come watch your game? Not great if you get embarrassed by 26 points. That is what happened to North Carolina as they took on Miami tonight. LeBron James and Dwayne Wade, of the NBA Miami Heat, took a break from dominating on the court to watch the Hurricanes pound the Tar Heels. They were rewarded with a high flying, explosive night from the local team and a lackluster display of basketball by the visitors.
It was a game of utter dominance as Miami held the lead in every imaginable category: rebounds, blocks, shooting percentage, assists, fast break points and so on. Ultimately, it added up to a 87-61 victory for the number eight team in the nation. The only thing sweeter than beating one of the perennial ACC powerhouses is getting to do it in front of a sellout crowd that includes basketball stars like James and Wade. It was the type of tough basketball that undoubtedly made coach Jim Larranaga very proud.
The post play of Julian Gamble and Kenny Kadji set the tone for the Hurricanes as they owned the paint. Kadji poured in 17 points and grabbed 6 rebounds. Gamble had four of his team’s six blocks, grabbed six rebounds and chipped in eight points on 4 of 5 shooting. The two big men clearly out played a more celebrated front court in James Michael McAdoo and Desmond Hubert by being physical, vocal on defense and playing with more effort throughout the game. It is this type of post play that is going to carry the Hurricanes deep into the playoffs. It is this type of post play that James and Wade would not mind seeing wearing a Heat uniform.