What it means: UNC’s starters, who will play their third game in five nights against Texas on Wednesday, should be well rested. Coach Roy Williams substituted liberally in the second half, often in five-for-five swarms, and none of the starting five played more than 25 minutes.
How it happened: Although it shot the ball poorly early on, UNC took the lead early by dominating the backboards. The Tar Heels scored their first 14 points off of offensive rebounds, and had 22 offensive boards (compared to Nicholls' 15 rebounds, total) by halftime.
In all, UNC had pulled down 39 rebounds by the break. To put that into perspective: There have been six times this season where the Tar Heels only managed 39 or fewer rebounds for the game.
It helped that the Colonels tallest players were a pair of 6-foot-7 freshmen, and in the end, UNC finished with 31 offensive rebounds, second-most in school history.
Number to know: UNC star wing Harrison Barnes, for the second straight game, finished 4-for-12 with nine points. He added eight rebounds.
(Another) number to know: The Tar Heels shot 21-for-41 from the free throw line. Nicholls was 3-for-6.
What’s next: The Tar Heels will play Texas on Wednesday night before breaking for the holidays.
Follow Robbi Pickeral on Twitter at @bylinerp.