GREENSBORO — Back in January, the Virginia Tech men’s basketball team beat North Carolina.

Not this time.

The 14th-seeded Tar Heels sent the 11th-seeded Hokies home from the ACC Tournament, winning 78-56 in the first round Tuesday at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Tech, which suffered the most lopsided ACC Tournament loss in its history, shot only 29% from the field.

“We just had to be able to knock down those open shots that we got,” Tech point guard Wabissa Bede said.

The Hokies, who trailed the entire second half, fell to 16-16.

Tech is unlikely to get an NIT bid with that ho-hum record.

There is also the CBI tournament, but athletic director Whit Babcock said Tuesday he does not foresee Tech wanting to play in that event.

The young Hokies were 5-3 in ACC play after beating North Carolina on Jan. 22 but lost 11 of their final 13 games.

How does Tech first-year coach Mike Young view this season?

“Pretty damn good, considering what I found on April 8, with good players graduating,” Young said. “[An ACC mark of] 7-13 is never going to be good enough in Blacksburg, nor should it be. [An overall mark of] 16-16 is never going to be good enough in Blacksburg, nor should it be.

“But we’re off and running now. … The foundation is in place.

“There were times I thought I was hanging on for dear life. … We had a tough stretch late January, February. This isn’t the best league to be young and small in.

“We’re going to look a lot different a year from now.”

The Tar Heels (14-18) played in front of a decidedly pro-UNC crowd Tuesday.

“It was like being in the Smith Center,” Young said.

In the team’s January meeting at Cassell Coliseum, Tech won 79-77 in double overtime. But UNC did not have point guard Cole Anthony and fellow starting guard Brandon Robinson in that game because of injuries.

Robinson had 17 points in the rematch. He was 5 of 6 from 3-point range.

“He gave them some wide-open opportunities,” said Tech freshman Jalen Cone, who had 11 points. “Next year that’s just something we’ve got to work on, on the defensive end, is getting to those shooters.”

Anthony had 10 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

“Cole gives them the opportunity to push the ball at a different pace than what we encountered in our first meeting,” Young said.

“They played faster with Cole on the floor,” Cone said.

In the January meeting, Tech held UNC to six offensive rebounds and just two second-chance points.

This time, the taller Tar Heels had 13 offensive rebounds and 15 second-chance points.

“In January, … we won the offensive rebounding category,” Bede said. “Today we got smoked.”

UNC forward Garrison Brooks had 20 points, while 6-foot-10 forward Armando Bacot added 12 points and 11 rebounds.

“Bacot and Garrison are just big, physical,” Young said.

Tech shot 10 of 36 from 3-point range (27.8%).

“We had great looks. Just missed some open shots,” said redshirt freshman Landers Nolley II, who had 10 points.

The Hokies’ 56 points were the fewest Tech has scored in the ACC Tournament since a 59-49 loss to Miami in the 2015 quarterfinals.

“We didn’t shoot it as well as we need to, expect to, and that ultimately affects your defense — puts so much pressure on that side of it that it eventually cracks,” Young said.

The Tar Heels led just 32-26 at halftime. But UNC scored the first seven points of the second half to extend the lead to 39-26 with 16:36 to go. Tech was 0 of 7 from the field in the second half at that point.

UNC shot 54.8% from the field in the second half.

Hunter Cattoor had 14 points and four 3-pointers for Tech.


Anthony 3-10 3-5 10, Bacot 5-9 2-2 12, Brooks 6-11 8-10 20, Black 2-4 1-2 5, Robinson 5-8 2-2 17, Keeling 1-5 2-2 4, Pierce 2-3 0-0 4, Platek 2-5 1-2 6, Francis 0-1 0-0 0, Miller 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 26-56 19-25 78.


Horne 2-8 0-0 6, Alleyne 0-6 2-2 2, Bede 2-6 1-2 5, Radford 2-6 0-0 4, Nolley 4-11 0-0 10, Cattoor 5-11 0-0 14, Cone 3-11 3-3 11, Ojiako 0-1 4-4 4, Wilkins 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 18-62 10-11 56.

Halftime—North Carolina 32-26. 3-Point Goals—North Carolina 7-13 (Robinson 5-6, Platek 1-2, Anthony 1-3, Black 0-1, Keeling 0-1), Virginia Tech 10-36 (Cattoor 4-10, Horne 2-6, Nolley 2-6, Cone 2-8, Wilkins 0-1, Alleyne 0-2, Bede 0-3). Rebounds—North Carolina 44 (Bacot 11), Virginia Tech 29 (Ojiako 7). Assists—North Carolina 14 (Anthony, Black 4), Virginia Tech 11 (Bede 5). Total Fouls—North Carolina 11, Virginia Tech 17. A—13,310 (23,500).

Mark Berman covers Virginia Tech men’s basketball and many other teams at the university. He also helps cover other colleges, including Radford, VMI, Roanoke, Washington and Lee and Ferrum.

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