Jason Capel scored a career high 28 points to lead UNC to a 96-78 victory over Clemson, extending Carolina's all-time record at home against the Tigers to 48-0.
Here is a look at the good and the bad of UNC's eighth win in 26 games and fourth Atlantic Coast Conference triumph in 15 battles.
Streak – The players said they didn't think about the streak before the game but sure were glad they didn't have to answer questions about it ending. It was pretty obvious from their faces – and smiles – that saving UNC's unbeaten home string against Clemson was indeed important. It also was for the fans.
Jason Capel – Capel had the kind of senior game players dream of. He scored 28 points and got the Heels going by drilling three early 3-pointers that gave the team confidence and got the fans excited. His floor game was error-free and his attitude, along with the other seniors, made such a triumph possible.
Jackie Manuel – Manuel had his best game as a Tar Heel by scoring 16 points, grabbing five rebounds and swiping three steals. His floor game was excellent and he even had success handling the ball some, an area where he has struggled. His defense, especially in the second half on Clemson's Tony Stockman, was terrific.
Jawad Williams – Williams' overall game continues to improve with each outing. He scored 14 points and had five rebounds and had success penetrating and pulling up for short jumpers. His game continues to open up with each contest.
Brian Bersticker – Offensively, Bersticker had a nice game by knocking down all five of his jumpers. He has a beautiful jump shot, excellent release and perfect rotation. He also catches the ball well and and is ready to shoot.
Adam Boone – Adam Boone's recent improvement continued as he scored 13 points. But more importantly, he handed out eight assists and turned the ball over just once. He dribbled facing the defense most of the time and took advantage of Clemson playing off of him by driving to the hole.
Rebounding – Carolina outrebounded Clemson 32-29 for the game, a rare endgame advantage for the Tar Heels.
Shooting – The Heels hit on 55.9 percent (33-59) of their shots from the field because they got numerous open looks. They moved the ball well. They screened – a lot – and were in constant motion. The spacing was excellent and, as a result, there were many uncontested shots.
Fans – Typically, a crowd of 16,215 in late February would be considered disappointing, even on Senior Night, but not this year. UNC's fans were a big part of the team's impressive victory.
Stockman's first half – Clemson's Tony Stockman scored a whopping 28 points in the first half, including knocking down eight 3-pointers. Although some of the defense was solid on the sophomore sharp-shooter, he still had too many open looks on the perimeter. In the second half, however, the Heels clamped down on him, limiting Stockman to a lone field goal.
Defensive boards – Although Carolina had more rebounds for the game, Clemson had 12 offensive rebounds. The Heels need to locate someone and execute the box out quicker.
The Tar Heels travel to rival Duke on Sunday for a 3:30 clash against the Blue Devils. The game will be televised on ABC.
Andrew Jones is in his sixth year covering football and basketball for Inside Carolina. He is also in his fourth year as a copy editor and staff writer for the Wilmington Star-News and hosts a nightly radio show on WAAV-AM980 in Wilmington. He has also written for ACCNews and once published The College Game and the former Total Sports. He can be reached via e-mail at: AJWAAV@aol.com.