Complete coverage of North Carolina Tar Heels Basketball.
Sweet 16 Preview and Predictions: Wisconsin vs. North Carolina
North Carolina will win if...Marcus Paige protects the basketball and makes shots. Wisconsin is known for its defense, but this isn’t one of Ryan’s best defensive teams and Paige is coming off a near perfect showing against Arkansas. He knocked down half of his shots (5-of-10) and posted a sterling 61 assist-to-turnover ratio. The Heels' schizophrenic offense goes as Paige goes.
Kennedy Meeks practices, expects to play vs. Wisconsin
Four days after spraining his left knee, UNC forward Kennedy Meeks was able to participate fully in Wednesday’s practice in Los Angeles ahead of a Sweet 16 match-up against No. 1 seed Wisconsin. Meeks went through all the drills, but elected to sit out the end-of-practice dunk exhibition. He said that he fully expects to play Thursday and estimates he will be at roughly 95 percent.
UNC's Sweet 16 Jordans feature huge Rameses ram mascot
Each year, the signature Jordan takes on a different look. Some years, it's a small tweak from a previous iteration. The current shoe — the XX9 — is significantly different from its zip-up predecessor, the XX8. The North Carolina Tar Heels get the latest "big and bold" version of the Air Jordan XX9 for the Sweet 16 featuring Rameses, UNC's mascot, on the side of the shoe.
UAB announces new long-term contract for Men’s Basketball Coach Jerod Haase
UAB announced Wednesday that Men’s Basketball Coach Jerod Haase has agreed to a new, six-year agreement, reflecting the university’s commitment to the program’s continued success as a strategic priority for Athletics. The agreement calls for UAB to pay Haase, whose Conference USA Championship team reached the Round of 32 in this year’s NCAA Tournament, total compensation of $1 million per year.
Video: Michael Jordan reflects on Dean Smith in new Showtime doc
Showtime Sports will debut a new documentary about former North Carolina coach Dean Smith on Wednesday night, at 9 p.m. ET. The doc is set to include interviews with Michael Jordan, James Worthy and Larry Brown, along with other "former players, coaches, rivals and friends." The documentary began production in early 2014 and touches on all aspects of Smith's career as a coach as well as his role as a "passionate activist with a life-long commitment to social justice."
Know Your Opponent: Wisconsin
By now you've heard all about Wisconsin's pace. You know the Badgers are the slowest major-conference school not named Virginia. You know that they haven't played a game with more than 65 possessions since Jan. 1, and that their average possession lasts almost six seconds longer than UNC's. You've probably read that they don't foul. Not just that they don't foul, that they foul less than anyone in the country.
UNC, Wisconsin are contrasts in style
The result was one Coach Roy Williams savored Saturday – a North Carolina victory against Arkansas that sends his team to an NCAA tournament regional semifinal – but he appreciated, too, the way his team won: in a style and fashion that's becoming rarer and rarer these days.
Video: Wisconsin's Sam Dekker used to crash on J.P. Tokoto family couch
Wisconsin's Sam Dekker used out hang out at the Tokoto family home in Menomonee Falls, but now J.P. Tokoto plays for North Carolina as the two prepare for Thursday night's Sweet Sixteen matchup in Los Angeles.
Marcus Paige, family bond over Sweet 16 appearance
Outside of the Paige residence in Marion, Iowa the cement basketball court on which the siblings grew up is now painted — half red, half light blue. One section is for the Tar Heels and Marcus, the junior guard on the North Carolina men’s basketball team. The other represents the Badgers and Morgan, Marcus Paige’s older sister who graduated from Wisconsin in May and now plays professionally in Romania.
Kennedy Meeks Update
UNC sophomore forward Kennedy Meeks participated in the non-contact portion of the Tar Heels’ 90-minute practice today at USC’s practice facility. Head coach Roy Williams, who is taking his team to the Sweet 16 for the 16th time, says whether or not Meeks is available for tomorrow’s practice will depend on how much swelling there is and how much discomfort Meeks has following today’s workout.
After surviving out-of-state start, UNC makes rare NCAA trip to California
During the final media timeout last week, with North Carolina clinging to a small lead in the closing minutes of a 67-65 win against 13th-seeded Harvard, coach Roy Williams brought up an NCAA tournament opener from 1982. That year, a top-seeded group led by James Worthy, Sam Perkins and Michael Jordan beat ninth-seeded James Madison 52-50 to advance from Charlotte to Raleigh.
Long Range Efficiency
While North Carolina may not be known for its 3-point shooting, the Tar Heels have become rather proficient in converting their limited opportunities from beyond the arc. Over the last month, the Tar Heels have caught fire from deep and provided an unexpected boost to the perimeter portion of their inside-out attack. Since Feb. 21, UNC is shooting 41.7 percent (60-of-144) from 3-point range.
Tar Heels Touch Ground In LA, Reaching For Stars
The Tar Heels have touched down in L.A. and will be reaching for the stars in a town full of them when they suit it up against the top-seeded Wisconsin Badgers Thursday at the Staples Center. For the first time since 2012, UNC finds itself still dancing in the second weekend of the NCAA Tournament. But despite the hiatus, UNC head coach Roy Williams says his team hasn’t lost sight of its big dreams.
Video: Nate Britt Recaps Day 1 in Los Angeles
The Tar Heels got to visit Santa Monica beach and pier before having practice at the Galen Center at USC.
North Carolina faces another slow-paced team
It's become a four-letter word with an ugly connotation. Pace. North Carolina prefers to play quickly, and it struggles to play slowly. Top-seeded Wisconsin (33-3), the fourth-seeded Tar Heels' opponent in a West Regional semifinal Thursday in Los Angeles, ranks 346th among the nation's 351 teams by averaging 59 possessions per game, according to Ken Pomeroy's statistical database.