Coming into Wednesday evening, the biggest story in the city of Atlanta was, undoubtedly, the weather outside of McCamish Pavilion, but inside, the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets battled valiantly before falling to the North Carolina Tar Heels, 78-65.
The opening half was an extremely good one for the Tech defense, but unfortunately, they were unable to fully capitalize. The Jackets held UNC to just 30% shooting from the field (and 1-for-8 beyond the arc) in route to just 26 points allowed, but they still trailed at the break thanks to several factors. First, the Heels were able to snatch 10 offensive rebounds, winning the make-believe “time of possession” battle and creating a staggering 18 additional field goal attempts. Then, Tech surrendered 8 turnovers before the break, and that helped keep them to only 25 points.
When the second 20-min period began, the Jackets played virtually even with UNC, but when the Heels went on a 9-2 run to lengthened their lead to 9 with just 11:55 remaining, it ended up being the final death blow. Tech never inched closer than 7 points from that point forward in route to their 13-point defeat, and that was that.
It was a three-headed monster for much of the night on the Tech side, as Trae Golden, Marcus Georges-Hunt, and Daniel Miller combined to score 50 of the 65 total points. Golden (21 points) and Georges-Hunt (17 points) did much of their damage down the stretch in what amounted to garbage time, but Miller was very consistent once again, and his 4 first-half blocks helped keep the margin close. Unfortunately, the offense as a whole fell short while shooting under 42% from the floor and 24% from three, and it wasn’t nearly enough to keep up with the high-powered Tar Heels.
With the loss, the Jackets fall to 11-10 overall and an ugly 2-6 in the ACC. To be frank, any dream of an NCAA at-large bid left long ago, but this was an extremely winnable game that simply got away from Brian Gregory and company, and they’ll be left wondering what went wrong until they take the floor again on Saturday against Wake Forest.