It was the sophomore’s 12th all-time double-double, and he’ll enter Saturday’s game at N.C. State just eight points shy of 1,000 career points.
While Hansbrough dominated the paint and flashed his improved mid-range game, Wayne Ellington (14 pts., 3-5 3FG), Ty Lawson (13 pts., 3-5 3FG), Danny Green (12 pts., 1-2 3FG), Reyshawn Terry (10 pts, 2-4 3FG) and Wes Miller (6 pts., 2-5 3FG) rained threes on their seemingly helpless opponent.
Lawson’s trio of threes was a season-high.
Carolina converted a season-high 12-of-24 from beyond the arc; and on four occasions in the second half, Tar Heel post players scored, got fouled and hit the subsequent free throw.
“I think I had some outside open looks, and I feel comfortable shooting that shot,” Hansbrough said. “It’s something I work on everyday in practice.”
Dewey “Biscuits” Burke nailed Carolina’s final trey with 1:03 remaining to enact the famed Bojangles discount on Thursday. The reserve walk-on has now secured the discount twice on the season for UNC fans.
The Tar Heels equaled their season scoring high of 105 points also reached versus Florida Atlantic earlier this year.
An 8-0 UNC run just before halftime set a new tone in what had been a hard fought contest. It was then that UM head coach Frank Haith picked up the first of two bench technicals.
“I was a little disappointed with how we started,” Roy Williams said. “I was a little disappointed with how the crowd started. I told the team we were going to have to build our own enthusiasm.”
The Tar Heels led 41-24 at the break, but as Arizona did on Saturday, the Hurricanes managed to cut the deficit to 13 on two occasions to start the final 20 minutes.
From then on it was a high-flying exhibition of talent by Carolina, the team Haith dubbed the best in the country following the game.
However, he stopped short of guaranteeing Carolina will cut down the nets in Atlanta.
“I won’t put that kind of pressure on Roy,” Haith said. “But they’re a great team. There are no weaknesses.”
Ahead 43-30 with 17:02 to play, the Tar Heels outscored Miami 72-34 the rest of the way.
“It was a snowball effect on Miami,” Williams said. “It was 13 points, then all of sudden, it’s 28.”
After Hansbrough’s block of a Brian Asbury’s shot attempt with 7:48 to play, Haith flung his arms in disgust with what he perceived to be a foul on Hansbrough.
Referee Karl Hess had seen enough and sent Haith to the locker room with his second technical.
“I’ve never been ejected; that’s not my character,” Haith told reporters after the game. “I have nothing to say about it because I don’t know what transpired at all.”
Haith also denied the rigors of a 9-13, 2-6 ACC record led to the technical fouls.
“I really don’t want to talk about the officiating, because I don’t want to take away from Roy’s team,” he said.
Quentin Thomas had a career-high eight assists and just one turnover. He has 32 assists and 11 turnovers since returning from a nine-game absence due to a sore foot.
Brandan Wright tied his season-high with four blocked shots – the third time this year he’s blocked four, but only the second time he failed to score in double figures (8 points).
Bobby Frasor returned for nine minutes of action after missing the last four games with a sore foot. He had two assists and two turnovers, but did not attempt a shot.
“I’ve always been in shape, but on the timing and everything, I can be a little rusty on it,” Frasor said. “We’ll see how I feel in the morning.”
With the win, UNC (20-2, 6-1 ACC) passed Virginia Tech (losers Wednesday versus NC State) to take the top spot in the ACC standings.
Carolina has won 20 games in 34 of the last 37 campaigns. This is the earliest the Tar Heels have reached the 20-win plateau since the 1997-98 team started the season 26-1.
The Tar Heels and Wolfpack tip-off at 3:30 p.m. at the RBC Center on Saturday.