Busting Brackets

UNC Basketball: 3 takeaways from a season-ending Sweet 16 loss to Alabama

A poor second half doomed the Tar Heels in Los Angeles
Alabama v North Carolina
Alabama v North Carolina / Harry How/GettyImages
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3. The Tar Heels needed more from their rebounders

A stat was shown during the broadcast that said that in Alabama's wins, they average a +7 rebounding differential. In losses, they average -2. Carolina won the rebounding battle by three, so what's the problem?

The issue is that Alabama grabbed 15 offensive rebounds, and whether it was on putbacks at the rim or kickouts to wide-open threes, they consistently turned those boards into momentum-swinging points.

In the end, Bama did what they usually do. The Tide rebounded more than a third of their misses all season, an elite number, but they also give up plenty of offensive rebounds to their opponents. That was true on this night, as Carolina grabbed a whopping 22 offensive boards of their own. The Heels failed to lock down the defensive glass, though, which is something they usually thrive at, ranking 10th in the country according to barttorvik.com.

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When you lose by two in the Sweet 16, every single play is magnified, and UNC will be thinking about more than just some missed rebounds during the long offseason. Armando Bacot missed a wide-open dunk that resulted in a backbreaking three on the other end just seconds later. The Heels fell asleep on defense several times, and the Tide seemed to cash in on almost all of them. Every play matters when it's win or go home, and Alabama did just a little bit more than North Carolina. That's why they're moving on, and the Heels are not.