Mar 25, 2011, 9:45 PM EST
North Carolina beat down Marquette.
There really is no other way to describe it.
The Golden Eagles took a 10-8 lead with into the under 12 timeout. When Buzz Williams was forced to call a timeout with 18:55 left in the second half, the score was 46-15. The Tar Heels had gone on a 38-5 run in the span of 12:25.
By the time Marquette finally came alive, it was too late. The Tar Heels cruised to an 81-63 win.This video is no longer available. Click here to watch more NBC Sports videos!
My task here is to find deeper meaning in this game and to provide it to you in the form of a blog post. And sometimes, there just isn’t anything deep.
North Carolina is a better basketball team than Marquette. For a 12:25 stretch, Carolina absolutely caught fire while Marquette completely disintegrated. The Tar Heels were jumping passing lanes and forcing turnovers — Marquette coughed the ball up 14 times before their first assist. North Carolina was getting up and down the floor as well as they have all season, and the Golden Eagles were completely unable to get back on defense. UNC got to the offense glass at will. Tyler Zeller, Harrison Barnes, and John Henson dominated the interior.
It was an overwhelming performance by North Carolina, one that came on a night when Marquette played about as poorly as they are physically capable of.
These things happen.
But if you dig through the rubble, you’ll see some interesting results.
Marquette’s most effective player tonight was Davante Gardner. He’s a 6’9″ freshman that is likely sitting on the wrong side of 275 lb. He’s a big boy, he eats up space, and he pushed around Henson and Zeller on the block, finishing with 16 points and six boards (four offensive) on 6-9 shooting. He’s also half the player that Jared Sullinger is, which is concerning for Tar Heel fans should Ohio State pull out the win tonight.
The inverse of that?
Zeller beat Marquette down the floor on seemingly every transition bucket. He finished with 27 points, 15 boards (nine offensive), four assists, three steals, and at least four transition dunks that I can think of off the top of my head. That right there is our Sullinger-counter measure.
North Carolina is a very good basketball team.
We knew that before they played Marquette. How much can we learn from a blow out win over the 11th place team from a conference that has sent just 6.1% of their league members to the Elite 8?
- Late Night Snacks: No. 7 Arizona, No. 11 Wichita State and No. 19 Baylor among Saturday’s big winners 1
- Did Gonzaga cost themselves a No. 1 seed with loss to BYU? 5
- Kaleb Tarczewski produces another quality outing as No. 7 Arizona beats No. 13 Utah 0
- Bubble Banter: Boise State, St. John’s, Dayton win the day; Texas, N.C. State lose; and Kansas State? 3
- No. 1 Kentucky moves to 29-0 with blowout win over No. 18 Arkansas 2
- No. 11 Wichita State wins the Missouri Valley by knocking off No. 10 Northern Iowa 1
- NCAA tournament berth the final step for St. John’s senior class 0
- Report: Former Louisville guard Chris Jones charged with rape, sodomy (12)
- You Make the Call: Was Texas guard Isaiah Taylor fouled on this drive? (12)
- Roy Williams calls out North Carolina fans following win over Georgia Tech (11)
- Bill Self crushed, Jamari Traylor targeted during Kansas State court storm (VIDEO) (11)
- Dez Wells, Melo Trimble lead No. 14 Maryland to upset of No. 5 Wisconsin (9)