TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — Florida State defeated No. 3 North Carolina 90-57 here on Saturday. A look back at the Tar Heels’ shocking defeat:
Why the Tar Heels lost: It’d be difficult to imagine UNC playing worse than it did on Saturday. The Tar Heels shot 37.3 percent overall and made just 4 of its 21 3-point attempts. They were 9-of-20 from the free throw line. They turned it over 22 times. They allowed Florida State open looks on the perimeter, and the Seminoles took advantage of those opportunities. UNC played about as badly – or worse – as one could imagine. And you could say the same about how well Florida State played. The Seminoles have been awful at times this season. They scored 10 points in one half of a loss against Princeton on Dec. 30, and then suffered a blowout defeat at Clemson. But Florida State played a flawless game in all aspects against North Carolina.
The good: Tyler Zeller played well for North Carolina. He finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds. And Dexter Strickland showed no indication that the ankle injury he suffered in practice last week bothered him. That’s a good sign. Outside of those two things, though ... not much good.
The bad: Just about everything. UNC didn’t have shooting success anywhere. The Tar Heels missed 37 shots but had just 14 offensive rebounds. The Seminoles had less opportunity for offensive rebounds (32 missed shots) but still had more offensive rebounds (15) than UNC. There are a ton of numbers you can throw out that indicate how poorly the Tar Heels played. Even worse than the stats, though, is something that wouldn’t show up in a box score: The Tar Heels just didn’t seem to have much fight in them. They had difficulty responding to FSU’s initial run to start the game, and then could do nothing at the start of the second half while the Seminoles blew the game open with a 30-8 run.
Key stat: The Tar Heels’ 37.3 percent shooting percentage was the by far the worst of the season for UNC. The shooting woes both inside and outside the 3-point line made it impossible for the Tar Heels to keep pace with the Seminoles.
Key stat II: UNC committed a season-high 22 turnovers. So not only did the Tar Heels shoot poorly, but they also gave away possessions.
UNC player of the game: Zeller. No one will remember it, but Zeller played well in defeat. He finished with 14 points and 14 rebounds and was perhaps the only player on the team who had a good game.
Quotable: “We had no answers for them on the court. I had no answers for them on the sideline. I did the worst job of coaching the team that I’ve ever done. The worst job of preparing a team to play that I’ve ever done.” –UNC coach Roy Williams