Complete coverage of North Carolina Tar Heels Basketball.
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.
Much higher marks needed for Badgers to advance past UNC
Top-seeded Wisconsin (33-3) will have to execute better on both ends of the court when it meets fourth-seeded North Carolina (26-11) at 7:47 p.m EDT Thursday at the Staples Center in the West Regional semifinals. "Obviously they are a really good team," senior guard Josh Gasser said, "so if we don't play well we probably won't end up on the winning side."
Former Badger Morgan Paige pulling for brother's Tar Heels
Former Wisconsin women's basketball player Morgan Paige won't be pulling for her alma mater on Thursday when Wisconsin faces North Carolina in the Sweet 16. That's because Paige's younger brother Marcus is the starting point guard for the Tar Heels. "I have pick blood over degree and I'll be cheering for my little brother," Paige said Tuesday.
Kennedy Meeks practices in LA, questionable for Thursday
UNC is still in wait-and-see mode with Kennedy Meeks’ knee injury ahead of their Sweet 16 game against Wisconsin, but the sophomore forward did take a step forward Tuesday. Meeks participated in the non-contact portion of the Tar Heels’ 90-minute practice at USC’s practice facility and will be reexamined before Wednesday’s practice to get a gauge of the swelling and discomfort.
Tar Heels Prepare For Badgers Thursday
North Carolina (26-11, 11-7 ACC) is the No. 4 seed in the 2015 NCAA Tournament West Regional and will make a record 26th appearance in the NCAA Sweet 16 when it faces No. 1 seed Wisconsin (33-3, 16-2 Big Ten) on Thursday in Los Angeles. Kennedy Meeks sprained his left knee late in the win over Arkansas last Saturday and did not return to action. His availability for Thursday’s game is to be determined.
Maybe North Carolina’s Season Hasn’t Been That Bad
As North Carolina prepares for a Sweet 16 game against Wisconsin, the perception of this team has completely changed. Or, at least it should have. There are 16 teams left in the NCAA Tournament. Of those 16, six were UNC opponents during the regular season: Duke, N.C. State, UCLA, Kentucky, Notre Dame and Louisville. These teams accounted for 7 of UNC’s 11 losses.
Ranking the 2015 Sweet 16 starters from No. 80 to No. 1
21. Marcus Paige, UNC: As was the case last season, Paige has been at his best in the second half games for the Tar Heels. 30. Brice Johnson, UNC: Johnson has been really solid this season as both a scorer and a rebounder with tremendous athleticism. 32. Kennedy Meeks, UNC: We're in a wait-and-see mode with Meeks to see if he'll get to suit up for the Heels' game against Wisconsin.