UNC Tar Heels’ Perfect ACC Record Shattered by Georgia Tech Upset


Jan 31, 2024

In what seemed like a surefire win on paper, the number three ranked UNC Tar Heels entered Atlanta with an unblemished 9-0 record in ACC play. Riding high on a 10-game winning streak, the Tar Heels were the heavy favorites against a struggling Georgia Tech team with a 2-7 ACC record, having lost three consecutive games. Betting odds favored UNC by 8.5 points, but as college basketball enthusiasts know, anything can happen on any given night.

The game took an unexpected turn in the ATL as Naithan George of Georgia Tech made a clutch layup with just under eight seconds remaining in regulation, securing a 74-73 victory for the Yellow Jackets

One of the great equalizers in college basketball is the three-point line. When a team capitalizes on three-point opportunities, and its opponent falters, it often tips the scales in their favor. In this matchup, UNC struggled, shooting a mere 28% from beyond the arc, while Georgia Tech connected on an impressive 45%. The three-point battle favored the Yellow Jackets.

Additionally, free throws can make or break a close game, and UNC faltered at the line, making just 9 of 17 attempts for a disappointing 52%. In stark contrast, Georgia Tech showcased their composure, shooting a remarkable 88% from the free-throw line in a tightly contested game. Losing both the three-point battle and the free throw battle on the road proved to be a recipe for disaster for the Tar Heels.

For UNC, this loss is undeniably disappointing, especially given their impressive ACC record leading up to this game. However, for their rivals down on Tobacco Road, namely the Duke Blue Devils, this unexpected setback for the Tar Heels serves as an enticing opportunity to close the gap in the conference standings. Duke is surely standing at attention, eager to chase down their now-vulnerable ACC counterparts.

In college basketball, as we witnessed in this game, surprises are a part of the magic that keeps fans on the edge of their seats. Georgia Tech’s upset victory over UNC reminds us all that on any given night, underdogs can rise to the occasion and defy the odds. It’s a testament to the unpredictability and excitement that makes college basketball one of the most thrilling sports to watch.

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Thumbnail photo via Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

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