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UNC Now is your place for Tar Heel sports. Beat writer Andrew Carter has up-to-the-minute news and analysis. Columnist Luke DeCock also contributes. Follow us on Twitter at @_andrewcarter or @accnow.

Tar Heels stunned by 90-57 loss to florida State

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UNC coach Roy Williams hangs his head after Florida State rolled to a 30 point lead over North Carolina in the second half. ROBERT WILLETT -

Updated 8:04 p.m.

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. — There were no words. After his team’s 90-57 defeat at Florida State on Saturday, North Carolina coach Roy Williams walked into the Tar Heels locker room, where the team gathered for its routine post-game prayer. Then Williams walked out, without saying a word.

What could be said after this?

The No. 3 Tar Heels’ defeat at the Donald L. Tucker Center was the most lopsided of Roy Williams’ nine seasons at UNC. The Heels shot a season-worst 37.3 percent, had a season-low eight assists and a season-high 22 turnovers.

Before Saturday, UNC’s past three games here had all been tense and tight, full of drama in the final moments. This time, though, the crowd counted down the final seconds in unison, as if celebrating on New Year’s Eve.

When the buzzer sounded, Florida State students and fans poured onto the court to celebrate a victory that was never in doubt. Williams and the majority of his team weren’t around to witness the scene.

With 14 seconds to play, Williams led his assistant coaches and most of his players past the Florida State bench and off the court. Williams knew a court-rushing was coming, he said later, and he wanted to protect his players.

Williams couldn’t do much else for them on Saturday. The Tar Heels’ defeat was historic – one of the most stunning in school history and one that Williams described as the worst coaching performance of his career.

“We had no answers for them on the court,” Williams said. “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.                  

Forty-three seconds in, Florida State senior guard Deividas Dulkys scored the game’s first points on a 3-pointer from the left side. UNC never tied it, and the Seminoles (11-6, 2-1) never trailed.

And Dulkys never cooled. He made 8 of his 10 3-point attempts – many of them coming wide open, without a defender around – and finished with a career-high 32 points. When Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton called Dulkys to the bench in the final minutes, he received a long, loud standing ovation.

The Tar Heels (15-3, 2-1) entered the week leading the nation in scoring but they found no open shots and no space to penetrate against the Seminoles’ aggressive defense. FSU, meanwhile, entered the game with a sputtering offense and a proclivity for turnovers.

“Princeton’s defense must be a [heck] of a lot better than ours if they can hold them to 10 points in a half and we give up 8,000,” Williams said, referencing FSU’s loss against Princeton on Dec. 30.

UNC point guard Kendall Marshall, who committed a career-high 7 turnovers, called the Tar Heels’ performance “embarrassing.” A couple stalls down in the locker room, forward John Henson said, “We didn’t come ready to play today. So that’s what happened.”

Florida State led 36-28 at halftime and then began the second half on a 30-8 run that pushed the Seminoles’ lead to 30 with 11:28 to play. Williams sat and watched most of the mayhem in silence. The more the margin grew, the more shocking UNC’s meltdown seemed.

But, UNC sophomore forward Harrison Barnes said, “The way we were playing, it was no surprise.”

Barnes and his teammates questioned their own mental toughness, their poise and their effort.

“We didn’t match their intensity,” said Dexter Strickland, the junior guard at UNC. “… I think we started to back down.”

Williams had difficulty explaining what happened to his team. Twice during his postgame press conference he shook his head and said, “There’s not a lot to say.”

About 20 minutes later, Florida State coach Leonard Hamilton sat in the same chair. His session with reporters over, Hamilton held the final box score in his hand. He looked down at it and his team’s margin of victory caught his eye.

“Thirty-three?” Hamilton said with an incredulous tone, to no one in particular. “What do you think happened?”


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Congrats to any FSU fan(s) who post here. I'd also like to congratulate FSU's players and coaches on a great effort in the victory. I know everyone hear (even Tudor) has had a day where everything goes wrong, you can't make a right move or give a right answer. I have to believe that RW will straighten this out. If UNC goes from the third best team to average... all of college basketball is just not that good. That is another subject for another day, but the fact remains it's only January, and UNC will probably be a tough out in March.

I did state earlier that

I did state earlier that this was one of the worst beat downs that I have witnessed by a UNC team. Now I recall that horrible take down by Kansas in the semifinals a few years back. We all know what happened next. Maybe I am just trying to console myself.

sore looser!

u good ol boys got to be real proud of  your team and espically of beaver-face ol roy, coach k would never pull a trick like ol roy, too much CLASS. go duke!

painful to watch

Yet, lots of good (bad) tape to reveiw? All the credit should go to FSU, they played great. Great win for their program.

To The UNC Staff and Team.

I have been a UNC Tarheel basketball fan for 30+years. To start this, I have never seen a tarheel team get this beat this bad and just lay down and a take the abuse. The only one that I saw had a little fight was John Henson. He was at least pushing back when they were pushing him. The thing that made me the most dissapointed was not the fact that the team left the bench before the game ended. I understand they want to be safe and it can get heated when the players are trying to get to the locker room with crazy fans running them over. The fact that Roy left the non starters on the floor by themselves and he headed strait for the tunnel to the locker room. What happened to the word "TEAM"! At least wait on the edge of the court next to the tunnel for the other non starters playing out the game! I was speechless, insulted and embarrassed as a huge tarheel fan. This spoke so loud to me about the staff and team. I'm a very dissapointed and torn tarheel fan at this moment!  

Are walk-ons part of the team ?

Are the 5 young men that were directed by Coach Williams to finish the game at Florida State part of the team? This isn't lack of leadership, it's ABSENCE OF LEADERSHIP !

So much for:

1. "Separation from the rest of the conference."

2. "the question is not will the Tar Heels win the rest of their, but by how much?"

Those quotes may not be exactly right, but you get the gist.

Well this defeat will

Well this defeat will separate the men from the boys. Lets see how they will respond. Coach Williams is mostly to blame for this one. Its all about being dedicated to defense and looking for one another on offense. In other words playing like a team with a single goal in mind. This team is playing like a bunch of spoiled brats. Even though FSU played well, there is no excuse for this lackluster performance. Get to work fellows.  Its about " getting your mind right ". 


As you well know, 098, it's easy to be positive and on-board when things are going well. The true test is how you respond to adversity. I was very pleased with the way the Wolfpack responded yesterday to the Ga Tech debacle. I suspect that the Tar Heels will respond in a similar way (and still end up conference champs), but I would hope this idea that they are head and shoulders above the rest of the conference has been laid to rest.

I do have to say that I have to wonder about Roy Williams. I can understand his concern for the safety of his players at the end of the game and I am not sure that I blame him for sending them to the locker room early. But he and his staff should have stayed on the bench to look after the 5 on the floor and make sure they made it to the locker room safely. Are they part of the team or not? Did he hold the bus for them or did they have to find their own way back to Chapel Hill? His actions speak volumes, and not in a good way.  

Whole team

Now, of course, it all makes sense. Coach Williams thought that the whole team was leaving the floor, not just everyone but the last five.


your comments are about as lame as any i have ever heard,ol roy made a huge mistake and u try and defend him, bull-shit!-- coach k would never behave the way ol roy did, thats why coack k is admired and ol roy is not, go bluedevils!!!!!!


What gives Roy the authority to end the game for any reason? Nothing, even in consultation with the opposing coach. The whole scenario is ridiculous. Now he is coming up with lame excuses, instead of just facing up to the consequences of a bad and impetuous decision that he made.

Disagree on this one

Given the recent issues after the UNLV game, I think he absolutely made the right decision, esp. after seeing the mayhem that ensued after the game. A player or any team member injury could have easily occurred. What I do wish he had done though, was to wait at the corner of the court until the whole team was off of it or clarified that even those on the court were to leave also. In addition, technically, the game would not have ended with 14 seconds left. If it was FSU's ball, I expect that they would have just dribbled out the clock. If it was UNC's ball, then 5 seconds after the ref. puts the ball on the floor, and a UNC player is not there to inbound the ball, then the possession would have gone to FSU.


Considering UNC had issues after losing to UNLV, I can see why he wanted to do this. I can only assume state fans could understand this if an opposing teams fans stormed the floor every time they lost.

Coach said he discussed it with Hamilton and he had zero problem with it. I've yet to read anything that contradicts Coach Williams.

I will say I'm still on the sidelines about this.

I'm not trying to beat the

I'm not trying to beat the living hell out of dead horse, but here goes..

I find it hard to believe that out of the entire coaching staff, none of them realized that those guys stayed on the court or did and just didn't say anything. They are just as much to blame as Roy. However, with that said, Roy is the head coach and is supposed to oversee all and ultimately has to take the blame. Just imagine the sh*t fest it would been if one of those 5 guys had gotten hurt. Even accidentally....

Staying back

I think CB did stay back, one other coach too. Remember, not much, if any discussion in the locker room after. Much less about that subject.

My take

None of the coaches had the balls to tell Roy the game played on and there were five Tar Heels on the court. #enablers

Wasn't even aware

Roy pulled his players and staff from the floor with time left on the clock ? Get the F outta here. What a P. I had no idea. I'm sure I'll catch up today on the anti-UNC radio show from 3-7p.

It's starting to make sense as to why Roy is the only public supporter of Dicky.

I totally agree, and I

I totally agree, and I really question Roy's judgement regarding the removal of his staff from the floor. The 5 courageous kids left to complete the game should have had their coaches there to look after their well being. Roy has POed the Tar Heel nation like I have never seen before. 


So privileged ... so defeated. 

Anybody seen gville?

Anybody seen gville?

Here I am

Was out of town on a golf outing. Didn't even see the game. Just as well.


DA-YUM !!!!

DA-YUM !!!!

That was so bad its almost

That was so bad its almost impossible to comment on. That is the worst defeat I have ever witnessed by a Carolina team since I started watching the Heels in the mid 1960s. Gentlemen if your going to wear the colors you must respect the tradition that you are playing for. That includes you too Roy!!!!. Absolutely HORRIBLE performance. Total team breakdown from top to bottom. I will say one thing about Duke. You will never see them play with such lack of passion and desire. I am ashamed to be a Tar Heel today.



And to top it off...Roy

And to top it off...Roy bolts before the game is over and strands the five guys on the court. Whats wrong Roy...can't take it?



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About the blogger

Andrew Carter is the University of North Carolina beat writer for the News & Observer.