Skip to main content

Quick Hitters - North Carolina vs. Wisconsin (NCAA Tournament 1st Round)

Isaac Schade presents Quick Hitters from North Carolina’s 85-62 loss to Wisconsin on Friday evening in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.

Quick Hitters from North Carolina’s 85-62 loss to Wisconsin on Friday night in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament.

Extended Highlights:

  • For the first time in his illustrious career, Roy Williams lost in the First Round of the NCAA Tournament. Coming into the game, he was 29-0 (14 wins at Kansas, 15 wins at Carolina).
  • This was also just the second time in program history that North Carolina has lost in the Round of 64. They were previously 31-1. The first loss was to Harold Arceneaux and 14th-seeded Weber State in 1999. Arceneaux (he of 36 points in that game) is a name that still haunts Tar Heel fans over 20 years later.
  • After winning the 2017 National Championship, this is now the third straight NCAA Tournament in which Carolina has lost to a lower-seeded team. In 2019, one seed North Carolina lost to five seed Auburn 80-97. In 2018, two seed North Carolina lost to seven seed Texas A&M 65-86.
  • Assuming none of the four choose to return, this was an unfortunate end to the North Carolina careers of seniors Garrison Brooks, Andrew Platek, KJ Smith, and Walker Miller. Many thanks to those young men for choosing to be part of the UNC family.
  • According to the commentators during the game, Carolina was the least-experienced team in the entire NCAA Tournament field. Wisconsin’s starting lineup, on the other hand, is older than that of the Chicago Bulls.
  • That seniority showed particularly in the back court where Wisconsin started a senior and a redshirt senior while Carolina started two freshmen. The NCAA Tournament, more than anywhere else, seems to favor teams led by upperclassmen guards.
  • In a season marked by first half double-digit deficits, we shouldn’t have expected anything different tonight. Tonight was the 13th time in the season’s 29 games that the Tar Heels trailed by double-digits at some point in the first half.
  • During the ACC Tournament Garrison Brooks was clearly hampered by his ankle injury sustained on Senior Night against Duke. While he struggled from the field tonight (4-12), he did finish with his third double-double of the season (10 points, 10 rebounds). His full complement of explosiveness was likely still missing, but he performed admirably in his (presumably) final game in a Carolina uniform.
  • Based on season stats, the Tar Heels were expected to dominate Wisconsin on the glass. The exact opposite was true. The Badgers became just the third team this season to outrebound Carolina (37-34). Rebounding was UNC’s one big advantage coming into the game, so the lack of ability to overwhelm Wisconsin on the boards essentially made this an unwinnable affair.
  • Carolina did, however, pull down more offensive rebounds than Wisconsin (12-nine). That means the Tar Heels finish the 2020-21 season having been out-offensive rebounded in just one game.
  • One of the encouraging takeaways from the game was the number of turnovers. Carolina finished with just 10. After averaging 20 turnovers per game in the final four regular season games, the Tar Heels cut that number to 11 per game in the final four games of the season. Definitely something to build on for next year.
  • Free throws were a season-long struggle, but Carolina shot 70 percent tonight, although it was just 7-10. The 10 attempted free throws was a season low.
  • Carolina shot a respectable 5-13 (38.5 percent) from beyond the arc. In a normal UNC game, where the Tar Heels are able to have their way inside, five is just about enough to keep defenses honest. The problems tonight were that Carolina wasn’t able to have their way inside and, moreover, Wisconsin made as many threes (13) as the Tar Heels attempted. In fact, the Badger’s Brad Davison made as many by himself as the entire Tar Heel team.
  • There is some good news on the three-point shooting front in the form of freshman Kerwin Walton. He became the first freshman in the Roy Williams era to shoot 40 percent or better from the three point line in a season (minimum 50 attempts). His final tally was 42.0 percent (58-138).
  • But wait, it gets better – Walton set the record for best three-point percentage by a freshman in program history. The previous high was Jeff McInnis in 1993-94, who shot 41.5 percent (27-65). The previous high for the Roy Williams era was Kendall Marshall in 2010-11, who made 37.7 percent of his threes (20-53).
  • Going back to Davison, he went off for a season-high 29 points, including those five threes. He also took advantage of having Kerwin Walton guarding him in the first half with multiple blow-bys in one-on-one scenarios.
  • Carolina tried to establish the interior early, but couldn’t get shots to fall. The Tar Heels didn’t score a point until Walton’s two free throws 2:23 into the game. The first field goal was a Caleb Love three almost five minutes into the action.
  • I’m still trying to figure out why Walker Kessler’s putback didn’t count and the foul was called on the floor.
  • Armando Bacot’s first half line: 0-1 shooting, zero points, one rebound, one turnover, zero assists, steals, or blocks in 9:50. Bacot, to his credit, came out on fire after halftime. He scored 15 of the Tar Heel’s first 17 points. Ordinarily that production would indicate a sustained Carolina run, but Wisconsin was right there matching UNC shot for shot.
  • Bacot finishes at 12.3 points per game to lead the team. It’s the lowest team-leading average since Jim Hamilton’s 11.4 in 1946-47.
  • To wit, the Tar Heels made 11 of their first 21 shots in the second half, a really impressive start. But Wisconsin was even more impressive, making 11 of 15.
  • Sterling Manley played a total of 4:48 this season and had three blocks.

Box Score

Screen Shot 2021-03-19 at 11.00.37 PM

Roy Williams & Garrison Brooks postgame press conference

Scroll to Continue

Read More

This loss ends the 2020-21 season for North Carolina. Stay tuned to All Tar Heels during the offseason for updates on recruiting, NBA decisions, and other impactful news. As always, thanks for reading! We don't take for granted that you would choose to spend time with us here at All Tar Heels.

Follow us on Twitter: @SI_HEELS | @isaacschade

Want to receive an email with Quick Hitters and other articles from Isaac Schade? Click here. Include your name in the text of the email.

Send Isaac Schade an email to talk more about this article.

More From All Tar Heels