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UNC rolls by No. 24 Michigan 72-51 in ACC/Big Ten Challenge

Michigan v North Carolina

CHAPEL HILL, NORTH CAROLINA - DECEMBER 01: Caleb Love #2 of the North Carolina Tar Heels reacts after making a three-point basket against the Michigan Wolverines during the second half of their game at the Dean E. Smith Center on December 01, 2021 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. The Tar Heels won 72-51. (Photo by Grant Halverson/Getty Images)

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CHAPEL HILL, N.C. - Caleb Love scored 22 points to help North Carolina take control after halftime, and the Tar Heels handled No. 24 Michigan 72-51 on Wednesday night in the ACC/Big Ten Challenge.

North Carolina led 29-27 at the half but shot 58% after the break to turn the game into a surprising rout.

Dawson Garcia added 14 points while Armando Bacot had 11 points and 14 rebounds. More important, Bacot was fouled twice in a span of 12 seconds by Michigan’s top big man, Hunter Dickinson, early in the second half.

That sent Dickinson to the bench for the next 10-plus minutes with four fouls. The Tar Heels (5-2) pounced to take advantage, while the Wolverines (4-3) got nothing going in response and trailed by as many as 25 points.

Michigan shot 9 of 27 (33%) after halftime as UNC started stretching out the lead, pushing the margin to double figures and then getting back-to-back 3s from Love to make it 59-40 with 6:49 left.

Freshman Moussa Diabite scored 13 points to lead Michigan, while Eli Brooks added 11 points. The 7-foot-1 Dickinson, who entered as the team’s No. 2 scorer (14.8 points) and top rebounder (8.2), finished with four points and five rebounds in 18 minutes.


Michigan: The Wolverines had a preseason No. 6 ranking in the AP Top 25 and spent a week at No. 4 before a two-point home loss to Seton Hall and an 18-point loss to Arizona in Las Vegas. This was another ugly one for Juwan Howard’s team, which struggled for second-half stops and kept turning the ball over - several leading to pace-pushing transition chances - and never found a consistent rhythm even before the Tar Heels made their move.

UNC: The Tar Heels opened at No. 19 for their first season under Hubert Davis, but fell out after of the poll after losses to ranked opponents, first against now-No. 2 Purdue and then against No. 13 Tennessee a day later in the Hall of Fame Tip-Off in Uncasville, Connecticut. They could be set to hop right back into the Top 25 after securing Davis his first win against a ranked opponent.


Michigan: The Wolverines host San Diego State on Saturday before starting Big Ten play next week at Nebraska.

UNC: The Tar Heels play an early Atlantic Coast Conference game at Georgia Tech on Saturday followed by their last four nonconference matchups.