Williams and Lute Olson renewed the rivalry they had when Williams was coaching at Kansas. The game Saturday is the first of a four game series the two schools have signed to play.
With the win Williams is now 5-2 lifetime against Olson.
The Tar Heels were on fire against the Wildcats, hitting 56.9% of their shots, including 52.9% from behind the arc.
On the inside Tyler Hansbrough continued to pad his freshman of the year resume with 21 points and 11 rebounds. The Wildcat big men did a nice job of doubling down on Hansbrough early in the contest, but with the help of an improved outside game the rugged big man was able to establish himself down low.
The Wildcats were not as effective on the offensive end. Settling all too often for jumpshots, the Wildcats did not play to their strengths. Hassan Adams was a major culprit. Carolina did an excellent job denying the senior a lane to drive and he was forced to take a number of off-balanced pull-up jumpers.
Adams managed just 12 points on 6-14 shooting and was mostly a non-factor. He did manage to pass Wildcat assistant Miles Simon for 10th on the all-time Wildcat scoring list.
Marcus Williams led the Wildcats with 17 points. Mustafa Shakur added 16.
On the defensive end the Cats were unable to force turnovers and had trouble switching off of screens. All too often the Tar Hells were able to get wide open looks from behind the arc.
Wes Miller, the walk-on transfer from James Madison, made 4-of-5 from behind the arc, scoring 14 points.
The normally effective Wildcat defense was unable to force turnovers. The Cats force opponents into nearly 20 a game, but the Tar Heels committed just 11 for the game and five in the decisive second half.
The Tar Heels began to pull away late in the first half. With 2:18 left the game was tied at 31 but the Tar Heels proceeded to score the final eight points of the half, including a 30-foot Miller heave as time expired.
The long shot was reminiscent of the Ryan Appleby shot at the end of the first half in Seattle, but the Wildcats’ reaction in the second half was not. Against the Huskies the Wildcats battled back and sent the game into two overtimes before prevailing.
On Saturday the Cats came out flat and the Tar Heels outscored Arizona 11-5 to take control of the game.