North Carolina Tar Heels Overcome Poor First Half to Win Must-Win Game Against Notre Dame

On Wednesday night, the North Carolina Tar Heels (16-11, 8-8 ACC) pulled off a must-win game against Notre Dame (10-17, 2-14) in South Bend, squeaking by with a 63-59 victory.[0] The win keeps North Carolina’s slim NCAA Tournament hopes alive for now, but the Tar Heels had to overcome a historically bad first half, shooting 18.5% from the floor.[1] Despite the Fighting Irish’s 2-14 conference record, they have been playing some deceptively good basketball the past few games.[2]

Notre Dame took a 27-19 lead into halftime, setting season lows for points in a half (19) and field goal percentage in a half (.185).[3] Tar Heels forwards Armando Bacot, Leaky Black and Pete Nance rebounded well in the second half, with Bacot, Black and Nance grabbing 11, 11 and 10, respectively. The North Carolina team had a clear advantage in rebounding against Notre Dame, collecting 23 offensive rebounds to their opponent's eight and scoring 23 points on second opportunities.[1]

Four Tar Heels tallied double figures in scoring, with Love and Bacot with 16 points apiece, Davis with 12, and Pete Nance with 11.[1] The Tar Heels had zero assists and eight turnovers in the first half and only had one turnover and eight assists in the second half.[4]

Notre Dame had a chance to tie the game with 11 seconds remaining but could not corral two Tar Heels misses at the other end.[0] North Carolina made both free throws and then fouled Notre Dame so they couldn’t shoot the three, ultimately falling 63-59.[2]

Head coach Hubert Davis was proud of his team’s effort in the second half.[5] At halftime, we had a passionate talk. When it got close to the 16-minute mark, the score was one point. We used it as an example to show them the power of playing with enthusiasm, effort, and drive.[6]

The Tar Heels travel to Winston-Salem next to take on Wake Forest at 6:30 PM ET on Saturday. The Over/Under (O/U) for the game is 148.5 (O: -105 | U: -115).

0. “Final Minute Haunts Irish Again in 63-59 Loss to UNC” Notre Dame Athletics, 23 Feb. 2023,

1. “Three takeaways from UNC men's basketball's 63-59 win over Notre Dame” The Daily Tar Heel, 23 Feb. 2023,

2. “Notre Dame head coach Mike Brey jokes about his team's impressive defensive effort in first half against UNC”, 23 Feb. 2023,

3. “Double-Doubles By Nance & Bacot Lead 63-59 Win At Notre Dame” UNC Athletics, 23 Feb. 2023,

4. “UNC vs. Notre Dame: Mike Brey picks up pieces after loss to Tar Heels; Hubert Davis assesses team” 247Sports, 23 Feb. 2023,

5. “North Carolina Rebounds Half of its Missed Shots in 63-59 Victory over Notre Dame” 247Sports, 23 Feb. 2023,

6. “UNC finds ‘energy, effort, passion’ leading to big second-half spurt” Yahoo Sports, 23 Feb. 2023,

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