Carolina men’s basketball defeated Michigan by a score of 86-71 on Wednesday as part of the ACC-Big Ten Challenge. The meeting was the first between the two teams since the 1993 NCAA Championship game.
After a back-and-forth, hot shooting open to the game, the Tar Heels closed the first half with a 15-5 run to push a 34-32 lead to 51-37, then outscored the Wolverines 17-2 to open the second. The Tar Heels led by as many as 29 points. Michigan was able to make the final margin 15, but the score was closer than the game itself.
Carolina was led by junior forward Luke Maye, who pumped in 27 points on 11-16 shooting from the field. Wednesday’s contest was the third in the Tar Heels’ seven games in which Maye had scored 25 or more, and the fifth in which he’d scored at least 20. Kenny Williams began the game with three straight three-pointers and scored 11 on the game; he is now 17-30 on the year from beyond the arc.
Theo Pinson continued to fill up the other categories in the box score, with seven rebounds and six assists. Joel Berry had 17 points and four assists. Seventh Woods had a nice line as well, with four points and four assists against just one turnover. Carolina moved the ball well, assisting 24 times on 34 made field goals.
Michigan was led by Moe Wagner’s 20 points; the German center was 9-13 from the field.
The Tar Heels’ win comes three days after the team’s first loss of the season, a 63-45 defeat at the hands of Michigan State in which the team shot historically poorly, setting school records for field goal percentage (.246) and three-point percentage (.056). As a result, the Tar Heels reviewed tape of Michigan State for 45 minutes before delving into the Wolverines.
”I’m not one of those coaches who’s just going to say it was just a bad game; let’s go on,” Roy Williams said after the win over Michigan. “If you make those kinds of mistakes and have people out-work you with more intensity and more effort, I think you’ve got to show them, and so we did that. Then we tried to move forward to Michigan, but Joel and Theo, Kenny and Luke, I think those guys were really ready to play. Needless to say, that was good for us.”
Carolina is now 7-1 on the year and will play at Davidson on Friday night.
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Photo by Alex Kormann