North Carolina vs. Lipscomb


It's been more than a decade since a school repeated as men's basketball national champions (Florida in 2006 and '07), but North Carolina will look to change that after cutting down the nets in Glendale previous year. Williams had 18 points to aid in the Heels 84-66 win.

North Carolina will begin its chase for a second consecutive National Championship on Friday, March 16 with a first round game in the NCAA tournament against Lipscomb.

The first time the Tar Heels embarked on the NCAA tournament in Williams' freshman year, he was an underclassman sitting deep on the bench buried beneath an even deeper roster. This season Berry II is averaging a career-high 17.1 points per game.

Through all that, Friday was the moment that Williams had been yearning for the most.

"In our Final Four year [at Virginia], coach Greenberg was on the staff", said Odom, the younger son of ex-UVa assistant Dave Odom.

This is Lipscomb's first appearance in the NCAA tournament. So, you know this is what you look forward to growing up. "Sometimes you can ... get a little off focus, but he got me back to where I was focused".

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The junior guard didn't disappoint in his first start in the NCAA tournament, after logging eight minutes total in four games during the 2016 tournament trip. Their normal 20-point shooter, Garrison Matthews shot 3 for 14 from the field and was held to 8 points.

"I was a dummy when I was a young coach", Williams said.

It didn't happen last season and some thought we are due.

As of March 14, North Carolina has the fourth most turnovers in Division I with 13 per game.

"It's a big-time game".

"He's a basketball player". Berry followed with a 3-pointer from the top of the circle, followed by a Sterling Manley dunk off Pinson assist.

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Against Lipscomb, Berry also became only the second Tar Heel to compile over 1,700 points, 400 rebounds and 400 assists joining only Walter Davis in that accomplishment. They came out shooting better than 50 percent from the floor and knocked down five of their first 10 3-point attempts.

Roy Williams had a burp cloth on his right shoulder and his 5-month-old grandson in his arms. "We really wanted them to not shoot a good percentage from the 3-point line". The Conference USA champions are a risky team in this field if they continue to hit shots. Pepper grabbed four boards and scored five points in the first half.

UNC increased that margin to 18 by midway through the second half.

Another Pinson basket, this time on a coast-to-coast drive, and a baseline floater by Berry finished off a 12-1 to end the half that sent the Tar Heels (26-10) into the break with an eight-point lead. North Carolina chipped away and got the lead back from paint points. As you are probably aware, it is officially an unofficial state holiday as the Tar Heels are beginning their run in the NCAA tournament.

When he addressed the media on Thursday's practice day, the first thing Williams noted was that golfer Tiger Woods, an apparent favorite of Williams', was 4 under par after the first round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational in Orlando, Fla.

Berry, a senior guard, has been good for North Carolina so far today.

Thursday forecast: sunny and windy, high 64
The weather service said the best chance for stronger storms will come on Sunday night , with heavy rain being the main threat. Airline passengers should expect flight delays to increase as next week progresses with possible flight cancellations.