No. 1 North Carolina vs. No. 3 Oregon Preview, Game Prediction

Brunilde Fioravanti
Marzo 27, 2017

The two teams have combined for 13 national championships, eight by the Wildcats. A Sweet 16 matchup with No. 7 MI saw the Ducks send the Cinderella hopeful home early, 69-68.

The Tar Heels led by as many as 20 late in the half and settled for a 52-36 halftime lead after shooting almost 53 percent from the field and going 8 of 17 on 3-pointers.

"He has the ability to rebound the ball", North Carolina coach Roy Williams said of the sophomore forward and former walk-on.

Like everyone, I watched the pile of scrap-iron that passed for the first half, full of missed calls and missed shots.

The shot will be remembered forever, just not in the way anyone imagined at that moment. "But I think Luke is - you know, and he has the ability to shoot the ball". "We believed that we could come back and win".

"I probably should have called time out", Kentucky coach John Calipari said. That offense stagnated in the final few minutes of the half, however, and the Tar Heels went into the locker room up just five points. "You've just got to contain them as much as you can and just make it tough on them".

Although not official, Monk, Fox and Adebayo are expected to declare for the NBA Draft, but all three enjoyed successful season with the Wildcats. Then Fox swiped White across the arms.

WBNS tried to make it up to its viewers by promising to air the final two minutes of North Carolina's win at 8 p.m., but delayed the re-airing when the tornado warning was extended.

Years from now - heck, hours from now - folks will note this game's stats and wonder how it was ever close.

The Tar Heels broke out of the gate early, building a double-digit lead and really weren't threatened after halftime, although Butler did get within 10 at one point.

"We let them get into a rhythm, especially in the beginning", Andrew Chrabascz said. So proud of how these guys fought. It was his crisp 17-footer that pushed the Wildcats ahead 64-59, the final two points of an eight-point, second-half Humphries' surge.

Kentucky suffered a huge loss Sunday night against Carolina in a nail-biter that had fans on their toes until the very last second of the game.

Each team brings the best player from its conference. Pinson made two free throws.

Williams and the Tar Heels had plenty to address after the rout.

As important as those points were, what Carolina did at the other end told the tale.

The key word is unforgettable - for fans, Villanova and North Carolina alike.

Thomas Welsh hit a short jumper, then Bryce Alford hit a 3 to pull UCLA within 50-49. Berry hits 40.2% of his three-pointers and 44.2% overall.

"All I could do is put my hands up and go find him", Berry said afterward, still in pain. It entered my mind, but that got it in so fast.

Williams, asked if Maye's victor was a designed play or a bit of improvisation: "A little bit of both".

"We practice that way every day", a soaked Williams said.

The conclusion to the 2015-16 season fed the team's mission in the offseason.

Kentucky (32-6) scored 18 points off 16 UNC turnovers and got quality performances from Isaac Humphries, Derek Willis and Dominique Hawkins. Justin Jackson flanked him with 24, and Luke Maye came out of nowhere off the bench to post a double-double with 16 points and a game-high 12 rebounds. March makes for unusual bedfellows.

Malik Monk set a record for a Kentucky freshman with 47 points, including a go-ahead 3-pointer taken against his coach's wishes, to lift the Wildcats to a 103-100 win over North Carolina. To say the Heels toyed with their opponent would be erroneous - Carolina played hard, which it usually does - but the manpower differential was such that the Heels could get whatever they wanted whenever they needed it.

"But it's like that old Southern saying", Williams said. "So that gives me a lot of time".

No reason he should.

But, as Zach Helfund wrote in the LA Times, "this year's collection of teams is an ode to quiet toil".

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