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Notre Dame annihilated by North Carolina in worst loss of season

North Carolina hopes to win a national championship, and it didn’t care how well Notre Dame played lately before Tuesday’s game. While the Irish weren’t expected to beat the Tar Heels, there was at least the hope that they could make it a game as they have every game for the past few weeks. Instead, the Tar Heels dealt the Irish their worst defeat of the season, 84-51, to clinch a share of the ACC regular-season title.

Even though the Irish (12-18, 7-12) never led, there was a brief moment in which it appeared they might actually go in front of the Tar Heels (24-6, 16-3). They kept it close during the first 11 minutes of the first half, culminating a potential go-ahead 3-pointer from Markus Burton. But Burton didn’t get the friendly roll, and the floodgates opened from there.

After Burton’s miss, the Tar Heels outscored the Irish, 23-9, before halftime. The break in the action did nothing for the Irish as the Tar Heels scored 16 unanswered points over the first five minutes of the second half. From there, it was just a big senior night party in Chapel Hill for the departing players who were playing their final home game.

Leading ACC scorer RJ Davis played his part with 22 points as well as a game-high six assists. Armando Bacot, the conference’s top rebounder, had 14 points and was one of four Tar Heels with five boards. Former Irish guard Cormac Ryan scored 14 of his own points, and two other Tar Heels off the bench also reached double figures.

Tae Davis being the only Notre Dame player in double figures with 11 points said it all. Still, even if the Irish had made more than 18 field goals and shot better than 30.5% from the field, it’s unlikely they could have done much to stop the Tar Heels, who are on a level with the best teams in college basketball.

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Story originally appeared on Fighting Irish Wire