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Previewing Syracuse

No. 15 North Carolina has a quick turnaround for the second time this month when it hosts Syracuse on Monday, roughly 48 hours after its win over Florida State on Saturday. Tip off at the Smith Center is set for 7 p.m. and will be televised by ESPN. Syracuse enters Monday’s contest with a 14-6 (5-2 ACC) record. The Orange need to pile up conference wins while they can.

Know Your Opponent: Syracuse

This year, it’s the Orange who may see the one regular season meeting with Carolina as a potential turning point. Syracuse has a healthy 14-6 record and a 5-2 mark in conference play, and could certainly find itself at 9-2 or 8-3 following a four-game stretch against UNC, Virginia Tech, Pitt and Boston College. But a loss Monday would be ‘Cuse’s third in four outings.

Ty Lawson to return to Nuggets against Wizards after DUI arrest

Nuggets starting point guard Ty Lawson steered clear of any extensive comments concerning his early Friday morning arrest on suspicion of drinking and driving when he returned to the team Saturday. Lawson said he "apologized to the team," but the details of what he said stays between him "and the team."

Tough Stuff: UNC Grinds Out Win Against FSU

In a game that saw an historic 35 points from Florida State’s Xavier Rathan-Mayes and highlight-reel blocks and an ACC helping of slam dunks, North Carolina coach Roy Williams’ favorite plays would be afterthoughts. Actually, tagging them as afterthoughts might be giving them too much credit. Really, to the casual fan, they were just forgettable.

Banged-up No. 15 North Carolina holds off Florida State

No. 15 North Carolina (16-4, 6-1 ACC) needed every bit of everything it got against Florida State (10-10, 2-5) to get its fifth straight win by a final of 78-74. The Tar Heels have now had back-to-back ugly wins at home with a good road win at Wake Forest sandwiched in between, and the tough part of their ACC slate hasn't yet begun. Florida State, meanwhile, showed plenty of signs of growth.

Tar Heels show toughness in win over Florida State

After Saturday's 78-74 win against Florida State - the Tar Heels' 10th win in 11 games - it's looking more and more like those toughness questions may be answered. Despite Florida State's pronounced size advantage and reputation for physical play, the 15th-ranked Tar Heels (16-4, 6-1) outrebounded the Seminoles (10-10, 2-5) and racked up 42 points in the paint.

Injuries force Tar Heels back to the grind

As the injuries mount, J.P. Tokoto said he believes the Heels have developed more toughness. “If you get challenged with something, you definitely take it to heart if you’re a true competitor, and we’ve got a team full of them,” Tokoto said. “I’d say everybody being injured, all those guys being out, that definitely could contribute to it, knowing that we have to play tougher, play smarter.”

Brice Johnson Perseveres For Big Day

Over the last five games, Brice Johnson is averaging 14 points and 9.8 rebounds per game. He has three double-doubles in the past five games – against Louisville, Virginia Tech and now Florida State – after posting only three double-doubles in his first 85 career games at North Carolina. UNC is 5-0 in this current stretch. “Tonight was great for Brice,” point guard Marcus Paige said.

UNC's Roy Williams chosen for WNC Sports Hall of Fame

Now, at age 64, ol' Roy has been called home again, to be recognized and honored for a lifetime of success and achievement in the game he loved so much he would sneak into a Biltmore gym as a kid to shoot baskets. Williams will be the guest speaker and lone inductee into the WNC Sports Hall of Fame as part of the 54th WNC Sports Awards Banquet May 17 at Omni Grove Park Inn.

Hobbled Tar Heels hold off Seminoles

UNC beat Florida State 78-74 in the Smith Center. The Tar Heels are No. 15 in The Associated Press Top 25. The unranked Seminoles gave them plenty to deal with, especially Rathan-Mayes. After the game, Williams wasn’t sure how to pronounce Rathan-Mayes’ name, but the coach sure knew who he was. Rathan-Mayes was easy to spot on the floor. He was the one with the torch.

Lucas: Anger Management

The knock on Brice Johnson is that he thrives when things are good, but sometimes struggles when faced with adversity. Against the ‘Noles, he played against a team that is known for physical defense, encountered some struggles, and played straight through it. The difference is in how he reacts when he recognizes that he’s on the edge. “It’s how I motivate myself,” Johnson said. “I amp myself up."

Wounded Tar Heels survive Florida State

The 78-74 win puts the Tar Heels at 6-1 in the ACC, tied for second place-with Syracuse coming to Chapel Hill Monday night. But it will likely be at least another week before any of the Tar Heels’ “walking wounded” return to the court. Joel Berry, out with a groin injury, is the closest to returning, but he won’t be evaluated for a possible return to practice until at least Wednesday.

Offense Fueling UNC Winning Streak

UNC (16-4, 6-1 ACC) jumped out to an 18-11 lead over Florida State by scoring on nine of its first 13 possessions. The Tar Heels connected on seven of their first 12 field goal attempts and scored two points off one of those misses to average 1.385 points per possession. Five Tar Heels scored and three players combined for five assists during that opening eight-minute stretch.

UNC-FSU Postgame Quotes

Roy Williams: "We got the ‘W,’ it was a weird game at times but we did some nice things. Our execution on offense at the end, and also defensively, I thought we played well at times. But boy, [Xavier] Rathan-Mayes, we held him scoreless without a field for about four or five minutes, but all of a sudden in the last 30 seconds he made three of four of them in a row. He was a difficult guy for us to guard."

UNC-Florida State Postgame Notes

The Tar Heels lead the series against Florida State, 47-12. The Tar Heels committed a season-low five turnovers (previous low was six at Clemson). The five turnovers are the fewest by Carolina in Roy Williams’ 415 games as the Tar Heels’ head coach. Roy Williams has won 740 games. He is one win behind John Chaney who is 16th in NCAA history.

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Schedule at a Glance
Last Game:
North Carolina: 74
Villanova: 77
Mon, Apr 4 Box Score

Upcoming Games:
UNC vs. Hawaii
Fri, Nov 18 TBD

UNC @ Indiana
Wed, Nov 30 TBD

UNC vs. Kentucky
Sat, Dec 17 TBD

Full Basketball Schedule

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ACC Basketball Standings
(3) North Carolina14-433-7
(4) Virginia13-529-8
(10) Miami13-527-8
(16) Louisville12-623-8
Notre Dame11-724-11
(19) Duke11-725-11
Virginia Tech10-820-15
Georgia Tech8-1021-15
Florida State8-1020-14
NC State5-1316-17
Wake Forest2-1611-20
Boston College0-187-25

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