The last time North Carolina won the Maui Invitational was 2008 when they beat Notre Dame. In the process, UNC might just have announced itself as a national championship contender.
Quentin Snider scored 18 points to lead the Cardinals. "I just want our fans to know, we know you want better results, and so do we, but we're never going to quit fighting and believing in what we're doing". "That's encouraging to me to see how we can do when we really focus and play at that same energy level".
Watts was the Tar Heels' best player by far.
Next up is No. 16 Wisconsin in Wednesday's championship game for a chance at their fourth Maui title.
It wasn't just the result, a 35-7 win over the Tar Heels on November 29, 2014, it was the way N.C. State won the game and how the players felt afterward.
Tar Heels cornerback Des Lawrence says there's "a bit more chirping between" his team and the Wolfpack, and there's "extra talk". Hicks is shooting a team-high 69.7 percent and averages 13.3 points for the Tar Heels, who are aiming for their first 5-0 start since 2011-12 and have 10 players averaging double-figures in minutes. Justin Jackson had 12 points.
Under new coach Brad Underwood, Evans ranks among the nation's best by averaging 27 points in an offense averaging almost 99 points. I know (coach Roy Williams) thinks the same exact thing.
The sophomore, coming off a 35-point night Monday in a 98-90 win over CT, scored 20 first-half points on 9-of-16 shooting.
North Carolina rolled over Chaminade and Oklahoma State in the first two Maui rounds, winning by a combined 75 points.
"We'll definitely have a lot to learn from this when we go back and watch the film", Brown said.
North Carolina hit a couple of quick baskets to open the second half, prompting Underwood to call a timeout.
The Cowboys had little impact on North Carolina with their pressure defense and need to find someone besides Evans to carry some of the scoring load.
That ignited a 12-3 Creighton run to close out the game, capped by a pair of free throws from Thomas with 40 seconds left. As well as Bronson Koenig has played early in the season - the senior point guard is averaging a team-high 17.6 points per game - he's only shooting 28.3 percent from beyond the arc (13 of 46).
"We were feeling it for a while today", Shastri said.
North Carolina looked the part again in the title game, dominating Wisconsin (4-2) at both ends of the court.
Watts scored 11 of those 17 points for North Carolina to give the team the breathing room it needed. "This year I'm really just trying to stay on attack the whole game and just be consistently more aggressive, because that opens up everything else", Koenig told reporters.
The North Carolina Tar Heels and North Carolina State Wolfpack will end their regular seasons on Friday as the rivalry adds a new chapter.
2 - Rebounding. UW put on a rebounding clinic vs. Georgetown, finishing with a 50-21 overall edge and a 20-1 cushion on the offensive glass.
Nairn, a 5-foot-10 junior, had scored nine points through the first four games but blew past that with 11 after halftime.
Wisconsin (4-2) returns home Sunday to host Prairie View A&M.
After a much-needed week off, UNC returns to the road for its ACC/Big Ten matchup with No. 3 IN in Bloomington on November 30 (9 p.m. EST/ESPN).