Sometimes all you need is a little love.
No. 8 North Carolina is advancing to the Elite Eight as Caleb Love dropped a career-high 30 points in a 73-66 win over No. 4 UCLA.
Love had just three points at the end of the first half when UNC trailed 31-28, but the sophomore guard accounted for 27 of North Carolina’s 45 second-half points in a massive performance.
The 6-foot-4 Love shot 11 of 24 overall, including a 6 of 13 clip from 3-point range. He made both of his free throws to go with four assists and three rebounds.
Before Love erupted from the perimeter, he helped the Tar Heels’ comeback effort with slick moves down low.
Once Love started feeling it, all the plays and shots involved him; he made sure to capitalize on those touches regardless of the shot difficulty.
In 35 games this season, Love is averaging 15.3 points, 3.7 assists and 3.4 rebounds. The points-per-game average is definitely increasing after this outing.
Three other starters for the Tar Heels scored at least 12 points or more to help Love in the scoring column.
Jules Bernard led UCLA with 16 points, but the Bruins just couldn’t do anything defensively to stop Love’s hot hand -- blitzing, trapping, nothing worked.
UCLA last season lost in the national semifinal to Gonzaga, but the Bruins will not be able to go that far this time around.
North Carolina, which lost in the first round as a No. 8 seed last season, will now play No. 15 Saint Peter’s in the Elite Eight after the Peacocks continued their Cinderella run on Friday with an upset win over No. 3 Purdue.