Wednesday, March 24, 2010


NORTH CAROLINA 60, UAB (Blazers, 13,047 students, Birmingham, AL) 55 – Well, it's not the Big Dance, but it's better than sitting at home being ridiculed by your fans, your peers and your rivals...

Defense? Was that defense?

Evidently, it was that and some lousy shooting as the Tar Heels and Blazers put on a display worthy of a Big East bludgeoning.

UNC had 15 turnovers, shot 41% from the field, 21% from behind the arc and a paltry 65% from the charity stripe.

Deon Thompson had 14 points and 12 rebounds (while nobody, and we do mean NOBODY took a photograph of him) to lead stingy North Carolina to victory over UAB Tuesday night in the National Invitation Tournament quarterfinals.

Rapidly improving freshman John Henson also had 14 and Larry Drew II added 11 while Tyler Zeller, stitched up head and all, grabbed seven rebounds and had five blocks.

The Tar Heels (19-16) held UAB without a field goal for nearly 10 minutes down the stretch to earn their first trip to the NIT semifinals since 1973. They will face Virginia Tech or Rhode Island.

Larry Drew, whose basket with 2 seconds left sealed a second-round win at Mississippi State, scored on an uncontested layup and two free throws in the final 46 seconds to help put UAB away.

The Blazers went without a field goal from the 10:21 mark until Dexter Fields' putback with 35 seconds left cut North Carolina's lead to 54-51. Overall, the Blazers went 15-52 from the field (28.8%).

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