I’m still numb.
We played the defending champions in a de facto road game, and we beat them so mercilessly that the final twelve minutes were little more than a coronation.
We’re moving on to our second Sweet 16 in three years.
Let’s break it down,
Slow it down a bit
It’s going to be tough to pick nits for most of this piece, so let’s get them all out of the way early - the opening eight minutes weren’t great. We were caught between two minds (dump it down low or run with the Tar Heels), and the end result was that we never really committed to either approach and found ourselves in a 20-13 hole with 11:37 remaining.
From this point forward, we completely dominated the Tar Heels.
We cleaned up the glass, our threes started falling (5-11 3PT in the first half), and there was simply no answer for Davis or Williams (or Trocha) down low. By the time the dust settled, the Aggies had a 29-8 run and a 14 point halftime advantage.
Halftime Score: Texas A&M 42, UNC 28
No Quarter Given
You might have expected UNC to answer, at some point. I certainly did.
They never answered.
We extended our fourteen point lead to twenty, and it just.... stayed there for the remainder of the game. The Tar Heels had small spurts where they would cut the lead down to 17, and we always had an answer.
By the end, we had completely sucked all of the drama from what became a ho-hum second half.
Our dismantling of UNC was complete.
Final Score: Texas A&M 86, UNC 65
This is basically going to be a ten-bullet section where heap praise on anything wearing an A&M uniform. Ready? Let’s do it.
- Tyler Davis. 18 points on 7-9 shooting with 9 rebounds and 3 blocks. I ran out of superlatives for this guy three weeks ago, but that’s not going to stop me from cracking open my thesaurus and complimenting him on a truly meritorious performance.
- Robert Williams. 8 points, 13 rebounds, 2 blocks, and a windmill dunk that temporarily killed all power in North Carolina. And these rebounds, y’all... these were some MAN’s rebounds.
- TJ Starks. 21 points on 7-15 shooting, 5 assists, 5 turnovers, and the perfect mix of fearless and bravado that this game demanded. His decision-making improved a great deal when UNC dialed up the pressure late, which is very encouraging moving forward.
- DJ Hogg. 14 points on 5-11 shooting (3-7 3PT), 8 rebounds, 4 steals, and a full chamber of “this ball is going in if you leave me open” swagger that we haven’t seen in quite some time. If Hogg is operating at this level, our offense becomes almost impossible to deal with.
- Admon Gilder. 12 points of 5-11 shooting (2-3 3PT), lockdown defense, and a calming presence every time the Heels threatened to close the gap.
- Tonny Trocha-Morelos. 7 points, 3 rebounds, and an insane chasedown block in 25 minutes of action. We asked Tonny for a heavier dose of minutes today, and he delivered.
- Jay-Jay Chandler. Kept the ship afloat early, particularly when Starks was working through some decision-making troubles. For a true freshman, 15 minutes of turnover-free basketball in an environment like this is spectacular stuff.
- Savion Flagg. 11 minutes, no mistakes, knocked down a three, and grabbed a steal. Job done.
- Texas A&M and North Carolina entered the game as the two best statistical rebounding teams in the nation, and the Aggies still cruised on the glass with a rebounding edge of 50-36.
- This was the most lopsided NCAA Tournament loss of Roy Williams’ illustrious career.
- Entering this game, UNC was 12-1 in their last 13 NCAA Tournament games and 34-1 in NCAA Tournament games played in North Carolina.
Once my head stops spinning, you’ll see some Michigan preview stuff.