For the second straight week, North Carolina was able to add a midweek non-conference game as COVID testing and tracing forced ACC opponents to postpone games.
Unlike last week, the Tar Heels didn’t have to resort to Twitter to find an opponent this time, scheduling Wednesday’s game with Marquette over the weekend.
“What we were trying to do is get some more games and get some more home games,” coach Roy Williams said after last week’s game against Northeastern.
The Tar Heels certainly want to keep their momentum going. UNC has won two straight, three of four and six of the last eight to move to 14-7, 8-5 and tied for fourth in the ACC. The Heels are now in NCAA Tournament conversations and are pushing for one of the four double-byes in the ACC Tournament.
The Heels are coming off of a 45-point home win over Louisville on Saturday.
Carolina will be facing a familiar face in Marquette coach Steve Wojciechowski, who visited the Smith Center plenty of times as a four-year Duke player and longtime assistant to Mike Krzyzewski. The Golden Eagles are 10-12 this season, 6-10 in the Big East. They beat Butler on the road a week ago, winning by 16. That win snapped a three game losing streak and a seven game span where Marquette lost six.
UNC will rely on its freshmen, who have come into their own of late. Kerwin Walton has emerged as one of the best shooters in the league, and Day’Ron Sharpe has led the Tar Heels’ deep stable of big men in production the last few games.
Tonight's officials: Brian Dorsey, Lamar Simpson, Tommy Morrissey
Your starters: Bacot, Brooks, Love, Walton, Black
Opening tip: Bacot collides with the person he's jumping against. Marquette ball. He turns, runs into the ref, then gets called for a foul under the basket. Not the best 18 seconds for him to start things.
Sharpe called for an offensive foul, UNC's second of the game. UNC is 2-for-10 and trailing 11-4 at a very late under 16 timeout
Marquette hanging with UNC on the boards early on. Rebounds are 7-7
Marquette hits its second three of the game after the time out. Lead is up to 10.
Davis with a steal and fouled on the drive. At the under 12, it's 14-6 Golden Eagles
Kessler helps spark a 9-0 run to cut the Marquette lead to one.
Marquette three. Kessler bends at the waist to try to get a loose ball (he's immediatel taken out). Another Marquette three. Davis offensive foul, UNC's third.
Marquette was 8 of its last 43 from three coming into the game 4-of-11 so far today.
UNC sloppy with the ball so far. Marquette is up 11-5 on points off turnovers. Golden Eagles lead at the under 8, 24-15.
Sounds like a road game for Carolina, because the Marquette bench is so active and loud. Golden Eagles definitely playing with more energy than Carolina by a large margin.
No box out and Marquette gets an uncontested putback. Williams immediately pulls Brooks for Kessler
Davis with a foul as a Marquette shot falls. Golden Eagles get two from the basket and a one-and-one.
Two Tar Heels under the basket on that Marquette breakaway, but a Golden Eagle trailer is first to get his hands on the ball. UNC is sleepwalking through this first half. At the under four, it's 34-21 Marquette
Garcia with three dribbles gets around UNC defenders like orange cones for a layup. Elliott then hits a three, Marquette's fifth. Lead is 16.
At the half, Marquette takes a 45-29 lead into the locker room. Could be awhile before we see the Tar Heels back on the floor. I think Roy Williams has a lot to say to them.
Heels come out with 2:16 left on the halftime clock, two and a half minutes later than Marquette.
Heels cut into the lead early. Then Marquette three, Carolina turnover, Marquette drive and layup, Carolina turnover. Back to 18.
At the under 16, it's 53-37.
7-0 Carolina run includes two Brooks dunks. Lead is down to 11
Back to back threes keep Marquette comfortable. Golden Eagles have hit 10 or more threes four times this year. They have nine tonight. 63-49 at the under 12.
Marquette is No. 193 in the country in three-point shooting. They're 9-of-21.
Marquette is No. 281 in three-point defense. UNC is 2-of-11.
Marquette is No. 328 in turnover rate. UNC has 16.
6-0 Carolina run gets it in single digits, 63-55. Time out Marquette, 8:22 left.
Davis turnover takes us to the under 8. Marquette up 67-58
Brooks turnover takes us to the under 4. Marquette still leads 73-63
Marquette finishes off an 83-70 upset of the Tar Heels