Well, that could've gone better.
In a game a lot of State fans felt gave the Pack their best chance to knock off a Roy Williams-era Tar Heels team since, well, ever, State fell flat on their face by virtue of a 28-6 UNC run over the majority of the second half.
State's cold shooting was met with an aggressive, hot shooting Heels team when it mattered. The Tar Heels played great defensively, I thought, extending their defense out beyond the perimeter to challenge the passing lanes and take Javier Gonzalez and Farnold Degand out of their comfort zones.
I think this is a key point, because I think it exposed the difference in level our current guards are at versus the rest of the league. A set of quicker, more aggressive guards would burn an extended defense off the dribble to penetrate and create some easy looks on the wing or underneath. As much as Javi has developed as a shooter and Degand has improved his ballhandling skills, they still don't have the ability to create that kind of separation that far from the basket from a defense loaded with McDonald's All Americans.
This is not to throw the loss at the feet of State's guards. If it were not for Javi's hot shooting at the end of the first half, there's a good chance the game is over before the 2nd half even starts. He finished the game as State's second-highest scorer, and at times brought the most fire and emotion of anyone on the team.
But to beat a team as talented as Carolina, even in a down year, he has to play that way wire-to-wire. Consistency is the key. To stay that elevated, emotionally, for 40 minutes, I'm sure is extremely difficult, but it's needed.
State faces a cakewalk in NC Central this Saturday (who mustered all of 30 points against Virginia Tech last week) before the stretch run of the ACC season begins.