GREENSBORO, N.C. - The history of last night is what shines for North Carolina (17-9, 11-6 ACC); the call of the game, the rotation, and more can be found on countless websites, but for this young team, the end goal is not to go home; records aren't the concern.
Fans are witnessing something special with the Tar Heels, and it's something that's been in high anticipation since the beginning of the season, high caliber team with fast execution, aka a Roy Williams team.
Notre Dame didn't have a chance last night with North Carolina's 11 minutes 37-2 run to defeat the Fighting Irish, 101-49. The Heels knew walking into Tuesday's night game that the Irish were coming off a thrilling last-minute shot against Wake Forest and their first defeat of a ranked opponent, Florida State, in years, they had momentum. But UNC knew it was flight or fight for the remainder of the season, and last's night showcase proves they're not ready to hang up their sneakers just yet.
North Carolina's frontcourt had all the answers last night, putting up record-breaking numbers. Freshman Walker Kessler stole the show finishing the game with 16 points, 12 rebounds, and eight blocked shots. The blocks set UNC's ACC Tournament record and the all-time ACC Tournament freshman record for blocks. Armando Bacot completed the night with 20 points and 13 rebounds, and Day'ron Sharpe finalized with 14 points and ten rebounds. The duo entered into record books with Bacot's eight offensive rebounds and Sharpe's sevens. In twin fashion, Bacot equals the second most in an ACC Tourney game by a Tar Heel; Sharpe ties the sixth most.
Two more Tar Heels wrapped up the night in double digits, Caleb Love (15) and RJ Davis (14). For the first time, three Tar Heels had double-figure rebounds in an ACC Tournament game since 2001.
Senior Garrison Brooks is out with a sore ankle, but his presence was felt amongst the team treating this game as a reflection of him. Once the team found out about his absence, Bacot stated that Williams asked them what would be the one thing Brooks would ask of them.
"He just told us he needed us all to step up. And he asked a question, like, 'what do you think Garrison does the best better than all of you?' And we all just looked at each other, and we said, 'communicate,' all at the same time."
North Carolina will face a very rested Virginia Tech tonight at 8:30 pm on the ACCN. The team moved back due to Duke's sudden departure from the tournament due to a positive COVID-19 test.