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Coming into Tuesday night, Clemson was 1-60 against North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Now, that mark sits at 2-60.
The Tigers pulled off a major upset of No. 3 North Carolina, beating the Tar Heels 80-76 behind huge games from PJ Hall (25 points, nine boards) and Joseph Girard III (21 points, 5-of-10 from three).
Armando Bacot did his part to stave off the upset, contributing a 24-point, 13-rebound double-double, while RJ Davis added 22 points. But the Tar Heels shot just 36.9 percent from the floor (24-of-65) and 33.3 percent from three (9-of-27) and lost for the second time in the past three games.
Perhaps it isn’t shocking that the Tar Heels had a letdown game after beating hated rivals Duke on Saturday. But fans and pundits alike on social media weren’t about to let them off the hook for the disappointing effort:
Better teams than North Carolina have suffered conference upsets in the past—such is the nature of college basketball, and really sports in general. But normally those losses come on the road for top teams, not at home, making North Carolina’s performance on Tuesday night all the more disappointing.
Remember, this is a Clemson team that North Carolina beat by 10 points, in South Carolina, back in January. At the time, that Tigers bunch was ranked No. 16 in the nation, though the loss was ultimately part of a 3-6 stretch that put Clemson’s NCAA tournament hopes in jeopardy.
But Tuesday’s victory, paired with a win over Alabama earlier in the season, should be enough to cement a berth unless Clemson completely melts down the stretch.
The Tar Heels are very much going to be in the NCAA tournament, meanwhile, but they continue to be just inconsistent enough to not quite feel like a true contender. That surely will have UNC fans concerned going forward.