Should Roy have gone to garbage time sooner?

2020 ACC TournamentNorth Carolina led Virginia Tech by 20 with 7:04 to go, and 25 with 5:47 to go.

It was 24 with 5:26 to go.

Twenty-one with 3:39 to go.

Starters Cole Anthony and Armando Bacot didn’t sub out until the 2:51 mark.

Garrison Brooks subbed out 21 seconds later.

No surprise, Carolina won the first round ACC Tournament matchup, 78-56.

With a date in 24 hours against Syracuse to follow.

Syracuse didn’t play Tuesday. Carolina did. And its top guys played a few more minutes maybe than they needed to.

UNC coach Roy Williams was asked about this after the game.

“If you plan – make substitutions hoping you’re going to be there the next night – sometimes you’re not there the next night,” Williams said.

Again, his team was up 20+, and won by 20+.

Needed to emphasize that.

“What we’re trying to do is put the best guys in the game at that time to give us the best chance to win the game, and then at the end if it’s a margin that you can get them out, then get them out,” Williams said.

O … K.

His team needs to win five games in five days to continue its season, incidentally.

Which might necessitate being judicious with minutes when the opportunity presents itself.

Or maybe not.

“When I was 18, 19, 20 years old, I never thought I was tired, so I think it’s overrated,” Williams said.

For the record, Williams played on the freshman team at UNC, and asked legendary Carolina coach Dean Smith for permission to sit in the bleachers and take notes during practices as a sophomore, and thereafter.

So, there’s that.

The good news for Tar Heels fans: the season extends another day.

More good news: Carolina gets Syracuse, which it just beat the heck out of, 92-79, in the Carrier Dome, on Feb. 29.

Any advantage to that?

“It’s the same for both teams. It’s not an advantage either way,” Williams said. “In one situation, that’s the only team we have played all year long that’s played almost an entire game in the zone. And that’s what Jimmy (Boeheim) does, and they can press and they can play man-to-man, they work on that regardless of what people think, but they press and they play zone. So, in one way that possibly could help, but again, that’s the only team we faced all year long that played zone the whole game.”

Story by Chris Graham

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