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ACC Roundup

Wake and UNC, when you get right down to it, was a game both teams tried hard to give away. UNC just had more success. Evidence?

Wake Forest Demon Deacons forward Aaron Rountree III (33) shoots over North Carolina Tar Heels forward Isaiah Hicks (22) during the first half at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Wake Forest Demon Deacons forward Aaron Rountree III (33) shoots over North Carolina Tar Heels forward Isaiah Hicks (22) during the first half at Lawrence Joel Veterans Memorial Coliseum.
Jeremy Brevard-USA TODAY Sports

Let's pick things up at the 5:26 mark, where Leslie McDonald picked up a technical for throwing an elbow. Travis McKie split the free throws, but Devin Thomas made a layup to give the Deacs a handsome nine-point lead.

With 2:58 left and still an eight-point lead, Codi Miller-McIntyre basically seemed to make his mind up that he was going to go coast-to-coast.

Bad decision. He was called for a charge. But Wake was still up by eight.

Next time down court, Marcus Paige made a three to cut the lead to five.

Tyler Cavanaugh blew a layup, then UNC came down for their turn. Marcus Paige missed a chippie and the improving J.P. Tokoto got an easy dunk to cut the lead to three.

Wake's turn: Coron Williams took a three pointer with a three point lead when patience was called for.

But no problem! James Michael McAdoo gave it right back to Cavanaugh.

And Madison Jones gave it right back to Tokoto. But Tokoto missed the shot, so still a three point Wake lead.

Travis McKie made his and was fouled by Nate Britt, who, by the way, looks way older than he is. He probably hasn't been carded in his life.

UNC's Brice Johnson missed! But McIntyre blew his free throws. But that was okay because Arnaud William Adala Moto made his.

So to celebrate, he fouled McDonald on a three.

McDonald hit two - UNC's only free throws of the second half.

So Adala Moto grabbed that rebound...and gave it back.

Whereupon McDonald missed another three, but Tokoto covered him with a follow-up.

So Isaiah Hicks fouled to stop the clock, Tyler Cavanaugh hit his...and with 10 seconds left and an eight point lead, Jones made a pointless foul.

See what we mean?

Old McDonald missed a three, e-i-e-i-oh.

Then Brice Johnson put up a meaningless basket with one second left.

It reminded us a bit of an early title drive by Kobe Bryant's Lakers, when neither team (we forget the opponent) really knew how to close.

It was awful.

This wasn't much better.

For Wake, obviously, it was great. Well, at least for the team.

Apparently a lot of fans are still so put off by Jeff Bzdelik that they're not going, and UNC fans snapped up the tickets. This was most noticeable when the technical on McDonald was called: the boos vastly drowned out the cheers.

Not that it necessarily made a lot of difference, but UNC played without Joel James (Krypton pronunciation please - Jo-El James).

Brice Johnson, who has been improving, was 6-12 for 12 points and also had nine boards - a nice outing.

Wake held Marcus Paige to 3-12 though and McDonald was 3-13. No one else attempted a three.

UNC outrebounded Wake offensively by 24-8 but only got 17 points out of those boards.

More evidence Wake tried to give it away: the Deacs were just 19-33 from the line (57.6%), giving up 14 freebies.

We saw somewhere that this was the first time that Duke, State and UNC all lost ACC openers. That's pretty remarkable.

On Monday, ACC-leading Maryland braves the arctic cold and travels to Pittsburgh to take on the Panthers - one coming, one going, if you will, with the Terps off to the Big Ten soon.

Fun trip: Sunday night's low is -8; Monday's high will be 5.

As Al Featherston suggested recently, it's not uncommon for teams to pull it together and maybe Maryland has. Seth Allen's return has made a big difference. Will it overcome Pitt's ugly-ball? The answer will come Monday night.