After beginning the 2013 ACC schedule 0-3, North Carolina has now fought its way back, evening their record on Saturday, with a victory against North Carolina State. The win was a huge confidence builder, not because of the opponent they beat, but because of the success they had in doing it. It marked the 11th straight home victory for the Tar Heels under coach Roy Williams against their in-state foe.
Carolina looked like a team of the past, defending with fervor and grit, making every score difficult on the Wolfpack in the first half, holding them to just 23 points. Their intensity was much improved right from the start of the game, as well as their free-throw shooting. Seeing these two areas increase, the Tar Heels look as though they’ve turned the corner and are ready to play basketball to their full capabilities.
Marcus Paige continues to lead the charge, producing another consistent overall game. His improved play over the past two contests has really done wonders in getting Carolina back on track. Other players have now joined Paige by stepping up their game, including senior Leslie McDonald, who led the team in scoring with 20, and freshman Kennedy Meeks, who has really begun to establish himself offensively inside. Seeing the combination of inside and outside that the Tar Heels can now present, make them an instant threat in the ACC. James Michael McAdoo continues to provide leadership through his example of work ethic and determination, which followed suit in the team defense against the Wolfpack.
Carolina will now look ahead at a chance to leap another team in the conference standings when they meet up with Maryland on Tuesday.