Continuing to streak, North Carolina went to Florida State and reeled off their seventh-consecutive ACC victory. It was a hard-fought battle which saw the Tar Heels trailing by as many as 15 points in the first half. Fighting back in the second, they were able to find their rhythm and overcome the deficit.
Marcus Paige, although ice cold for much of the first half, caught fire and took over in the second, guiding the Tar Heels to the hard-fought victory. He has been the spark which has lead North Carolina back into the spotlight during their current steak, making them relevant in the conference and tournament talk once again. Kennedy Meeks was another bright spot, taking over inside and leading Carolina with 23 points. His contributions were much needed as James Michael McAdoo, who had scored in double figures for 17-consecutive games, fouled out without a point. In the end, though, it was Paige’s stellar foul shooting which was counted on for the victory.
The win marked another place in history for coach Roy Williams as well. Becoming the fastest coach to reach 300 victories in ACC history, Williams did so in just 386 games. He surpassed both Dean Smith (406) and Mike Krzyzewski (412) with the win tonight. He has done a terrific job, this season especially, turning around a team which began their ACC run at 1-4 and have now moved into fourth place behind only the three top-15 ranked teams. He’s also done so in the face of adversity after losing stellar performer P.J. Hairston from 2013.
North Carolina now looks ahead to the most coveted college basketball rivalry when they face Duke on Thursday. It will be another stiff challenge, but a true test in demonstrating how far they’ve come this season.