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North Carolina - Stanford: Gameday Open Thread

Tar Heels look to earn spot in Maui title game

North Carolina plays its second game in as many days as it continues its movement through the Maui Invitational bracket in Asheville. 

The Tar Heels blew out UNLV after falling behind 13-0 at the start of last night's opener. The win over the Rebels earns the Heels a date with Stanford in the semifinals. The winner of this game will play Texas for the Maui Invitational title. The loser will play Indiana in the third-place consolation game.

Carolina is looking for a record-tying five Maui Invitational title. The last three Tar Heel teams to win Maui went on to win the national title that season. 

UNC will look to extend its dominance over Stanford. The Tar Heels are 12-0 all time against the Cardinal. Only the Citadel (19 games) has played Carolina more often without a win. 

The Heels are also riding a 15-game winning streak over the Pac-12. This game matches Roy Williams against former Kansas player and assistant coach (at Kansas and UNC) Jerod Haase, now at the helm of Stanford. 

North Carolina will need to find a solution for freshman Ziaire Williams, who was recruited by the Tar Heels for a period. Williams opened his college career with 19 points, eight rebounds and three assists. 

The Maui schedule--three games in three days--will give the Tar Heels a chance to build depth. Williams used Walker Kessler and Kerwin Walton more often in last night's opener. Look for Puff Johnson to see his playing time increase as the tournament goes on as well. 

Same starters as in the first two games: Armando Bacot, Leaky Black, Garrison Brooks, RJ Davis, Caleb Love

UNC falling behind early again today as Stanford gets a drive to the basket and a three. Cardinal are pushing the Tar Heels around underneath

Everyone trying hard to back-door Carolina so far this season. Stanford's tried it twice in the first four minutes. At the under 16, it's 8-5

Another turnover by UNC, that's four in six minutes. Shots aren't falling for Heels, but they're controlling the boards to keep things close. 

UNC's fifth turnover sends up to the under 12, but the Heels have taken a 12-8 lead. 

9-0 run by UNC followed by a 4-0 run for Stanford. Heels still turning it over too often. 

Stanford run up to 6-0 to tie the score at 14. 

Two more turnovers, on back-to-back possessions. UNC is up to eight. 

Brooks blocked and tied up on a dunk attempt. Doesn't count as a turnover, but it's Stanford's ball anyway. We hit the under 8 with the Cardinal on top 19-16. 

Stanford travels on back-to-back possessions, but UNC can't really cash in, turning it over to spark a fast break dunk.

Caleb Love airballs a three. He's 1-for-8 from the field today. 

Love stripped, his third turnover of the day and UNC's 10th. Stanford leads 28-25.

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Platek blocked and Stanford responds with a three. Suddenly, it's a six-point lead, and Bacot throws it out of bounds. Wheels coming off for Heels at the end of the half

UNC is outrebounding Stanford 18-8, which is the only reason the Heels are still within reach in this game. Very sketchy performance in every other aspect. 

Love blocked, triggering a break. 33-25 Cardinal.

Love misses a layup in the final seconds and we go to the half with UNC down 33-29. 

Second half starts off much the same way--missed layups for UNC, turnovers. Stanford gets a technical foul on a breakaway dunk for hanging on the rim, which was kind of a tough call. Let's see if Carolina can take advantage of the break. 

It can. 8-0 run takes us to the under 16. Carolina has pulled in front 44-41.

Turnover number 15 spurs a Stanford break to tie the game at 48. UNC then commits an offensive foul next time down.

Sixteenth turnover of the game, followed by UNC's 16th foul, and we're tied again at 50. 

 Two possessions later, UNC commits its 17th in both categories. 

Kessler misses two free throws at one end, then commits an and-one foul to allow Stanford to tie the game at the other. And Carolina immediately turns it over. Stanford hits a three to take the lead. Another turnover. We're watching the game-deciding sequence right now 

Carolina has not come close to doing the things that win games today and Stanford executing on offense for a two-minute stretch here is going to be the difference.

Carolina ties it on two Love free throws. 4:56 to play.

Z Williams beats three Carolina defenders under the basket to get the offensive rebound and putback. Brooks ties it at the other end but misses a free throw to put UNC in the lead. Tied at 60 with 3:44 left. 

Nice play by Sharpe to tip and steal the inbounds pass while guarding the passer 

UNC up two with under 3:00 left and turns it over on back-to-back possessions. Escapes the first time but fouls on a breakaway on the second.

And Stanford misses the free throw. A capable offensive team would be beating Carolina by 18 to 25. 

Davis blocked and turns it over. Stanford gets a last shot to tie. 

No. North Carolina is going to hold on to win this game but needs to treat it like a loss, because very little went well. 

Heels win 67-63