Despite a halftime scare, UNC survives FGCU to move on to the next round. The game was pegged as “David vs. Goliath” with analyst predicting Florida Golf Coast giving UNC a run for their money, if not shockingly winning.
FGCU came into PNC Arena defensively tough and offensively sound, but it was Brice Johnson who fueled his team to push for a victory. Johnson was the key to tonight’s win against FGCU, defensively he saved the Heels from facing defeat. Tonight Johnson became the first Tar Heel to have 8 blocks in the NCAA Tournament, something Roy Williams found extremely impressive, especially since he sets his defensive standards to that of former Tar Heel, Tyler Hansbrough.
Defensively in the first Brice mad a couple of good plays coming down and getting involved, But in the second half his shot blocking around the rim was really important. One of them could have been goaltending, but the other six were blocks. He was really extremely important to us today and kept them from making a run at us when we did get the big margin.
Despite having their largest lead at 23, the Heels didn’t lose their intensity or seem to get too comfortable. FGCU was a relentless team and they did not give the Heels this game easily. UNC was visibly frustrated at times even to the point where they were sometimes frustrated at each other, but Brice made sure to keep his team level-headed and never let their foot off the gas.
“After the 25-6 run, I think after that point we basically knew we had the game.” Brice Johnson said “At the end of the day you are kind of mad at the way you played in the first half. You’re not going to forget that even if you’re up 20+.”
But, Johnson thinks the team had more to prove despite any large margin lead.
“Im still not satisfied at the way we played. Even though we won by 16, we could’ve played a lot better and won by a lot more than we did”
Looks like Brice Johnson is looking to do a hat trick and complete his season with more than just ACC titles, he’s looking to go all the way.
The Heels play the winner of the Providence/USC game Saturday with the time to be announced following the end of that game.