North Carolina Rolls Again, Continuing Conference Climb
Making their final trip to Chapel Hill as part of the ACC, Maryland dropped their eighth in a row to North Carolina. It was all Tar Heels from the opening tip as they got off to a 12-point lead to begin the game and never looked back. A few spurts throughout the game by the Terrapins kept things close, but in the end, Carolina gained their fourth-straight victory for the first time all season.
James Michael McAdoo led the Tar Heels out of the gate scoring nine of their first 19 points, quickly establishing an inside presence and putting them out in front. The story from there became the continued exceptional play of Carolina guard Marcus Paige. Posting game highs in both points, with 25, and assists, with seven, Paige led the Tar Heels once again with his smooth shooting and stellar ball distribution. It seems as though he’s become the engine that makes Carolina go, and as long as he’s playing at a high level, they can plan on having a chance in any contest. The Tar Heels continued to get spot performances from their role players, with Brice Johnson taking his turn in the rotation, scoring 19, leading all players off the bench.
Carolina made yet another climb in the ACC standings, leapfrogging the Terrapins and putting themselves just outside the top five after beginning the campaign with three-straight conference losses. Now, they look ahead to a Saturday matchup with Notre Dame. It will be a true test for just how far the Tar Heels have come based on the fact that they’ve only won two road games all season. However, as the season begins to wind down, every win will matter in making themselves contenders for a tournament berth and a chance to dance once again.