CHAPEL HILL–North Carolina’s men’s basketball team is the No. 8 seed in the NCAA Tournament South Regional and will play No. 9 seed Wisconsin on Friday.
The Tar Heels and Badgers will play at 7:10 pm. on Friday on CBS in West Lafayette, Ind, at Purdue’s Mackey Arena.
The winner will advance to play the winner of the game between No. 1 seed Baylor and No. 16 seed Hartford.
The Tar Heels (18-10) were the No. 6 seed in the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament last week and advanced to the semifinals with wins over Notre Dame and Virginia Tech before losing to Florida State.
“We are ecstatic to be playing in the NCAA Tournament,” said head coach Roy Williams. “There were a couple of times during the season when we were wondering whether or not we would make the field, but our team kept getting a little bit better and better. So I’m just ecstatic for these kids, who have endured so much due to Covid and have an opportunity to continue their season. This will be an unusual tournament to say the least, but particularly for our coaches, because we have so many young players who will be playing in the NCAA Tournament for the first time. Wisconsin will be a big-time challenge, but we played our way into our seed and we will have to play very well to advance. But we are looking forward to having that opportunity.”
GAME 29: NCAA SOUTH REGION FIRST ROUND
• Carolina is the No. 8 seed in the NCAA South Region and will play No. 9 Wisconsin in the first round on Friday, March 19, at 7:10 p.m. at Mackey Arena in West Lafayette, Ind., on CBS.
• Mackey Arena is the home of the Purdue Boilermakers. The Tar Heels are 1-0 at Mackey, defeating Purdue, 86-74, on 12/22/1990. Current UNC assistant coach Hubert Davis scored 12 points in the Tar Heel victory.
• The Tar Heels are 18-10, winning three of their last four and 13 of 19 games since New Year’s.
• Carolina tied for fifth place in the ACC standings with a 10-6 record (.625) in league play.
• Carolina went 2-1 in the ACC Tournament in Greensboro, N.C., advancing to the semifinals with a 101-59 second-round win over Notre Dame and an 81-73 quarterfinal win over 22nd-ranked Virginia Tech. In the semifinal vs. Florida State, UNC rallied from 13 points behind to take a 64-62 lead with under four minutes to play, but scored just two points the rest of the game in a 69-66 loss.
• Sophomore forward/center Armando Bacot averaged 16.3 points and 10.7 rebounds in the three ACC Tournament games and was named first-team All-Tournament.
CAROLINA IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
• Carolina is playing in its 51st NCAA Tournament, including its 16th in 18 seasons under head coach Roy Williams.
• UNC has won six NCAA Tournaments – 1957, 1982, 1993, 2005, 2009 and 2017.
• The Tar Heels rank second in NCAA Tournament history in appearances (51), games (173), wins (126) and winning percentage (.728).
• Carolina has advanced to an NCAA-record 20 Final Fours – 1946, 1957, 1967, 1968, 1969, 1972, 1977, 1981, 1982, 1991, 1993, 1995, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2005, 2008, 2009, 2016 and 2017.
• Carolina has been a No. 1 seed a record 17 times, including eight times under Roy Williams.
• This is the fourth time the Tar Heels have been a No. 8 seed. Carolina is 7-3 as a No. 8 seed. In 1990, the Tar Heels beat No. 1 seed Oklahoma in the second round before losing to Arkansas in the Sweet 16; in 2000, Carolina beat top-seed Stanford in the second round and Tulsa in the Elite Eight to reach the Final Four, but lost to Florida in the national semifinals.
• In 2013, No. 8 Carolina defeated No. 9 Villanova and lost to No. 1 Kansas in Kansas City.
• Carolina is 2-3 in the Hoosier State in NCAA Tournament play. That includes a 2-0 record in South Bend in 1985 and an 0-3 mark in Indianapolis (Final Four losses in 1991, 1997 and 2000).
• Carolina’s 45 NCAA Tournament wins from 2004-19 were more than any other school in the country.
• Carolina’s No. 8 seed follows a four-year stretch of playing in the NCAA Tournament (2016-19) during which UNC’s seed was the best over any four-year stretch in school history (1 in 2016, 1 in 2017, 2 in 2018 and 1 in 2019).
ROY WILLIAMS IN THE NCAA TOURNAMENT
• The 2021 NCAA Tournament is Roy Williams‘ 30th in 33 seasons as a head coach (16th as head coach at his alma mater).
• Williams has led the Tar Heels to three NCAA titles (2005, 2009 and 2017) and two other Final Fours (2008 and 2016).
• Williams has taken nine teams to the Final Four – four at Kansas and five at UNC. His Jayhawk teams won regional titles in 1991, 1993, 2002 and 2003.
• He is second all-time in NCAA Tournament wins (79), second in No. 1 seeds (13), third in appearances (30), third in games (105), third in winning percentage among coaches with at least 50 games (.752), third in championship game appearances (6), fourth in Final Fours (9) and tied for fourth in titles (3).
• His teams are 29-0 in first-round games, the best record in opening-round play in NCAA Tournament history.
• Williams’ 54 NCAA Tournament wins from 2002-2019 were more than any other coach in the country.
• This is the third time Williams enters the NCAA Tournament as a No. 8 seed. In 2000, Kansas beat No. 9 DePaul and lost to No. 1 Duke. In 2013, the Tar Heels beat No. 9 Villanova and lost to No. 1 Kansas in Kansas City.
WILLIAMS FASTEST TO 900 WINS; PASSES BOB KNIGHT FOR THIRD ALL-TIME
• Roy Williams is 903-263 in 33 seasons as a head coach. Williams became the fourth Division I coach to win 900 games when the Tar Heels defeated Florida State on February 27. He joined Naismith Hall of Famers Mike Krzyzewski, Jim Boeheim and Bob Knight in winning 900 games as a Division I head coaches.
• Jim Calhoun, head coach at D-III’s St. Joseph, has won 917 games, including 873 as a Division I head coach.
• West Virginia’s Bob Huggins enters the NCAA Tournament with 899 wins, 828 of which have come as a D-I head coach.
MOST WINS AS DIVISION I HEAD COACH
1170 Mike Krzyzewski
980 Jim Boeheim
903 Roy Williams
902 Bob Knight
879 Dean Smith
• Williams was eighth-fastest in games played to 200 wins, tied for the third-fastest to 300, fourth fastest to 400, fastest to 500 and 600, third fastest to 700, second fastest to 800 behind Adolph Rupp and fastest to 900.
• Williams won his 900th in 1,161 games. He reached 900 in fewer games and seasons than any coach in history (Krzyzewski won his 900th in his 36th season and 1,183rd game).
• Williams is 98-34 (.742) in March as head coach of the Tar Heels.
• This is the fifth game between the Tar Heels and Wisconsin. All five have been in tournaments/special events, including three in NCAA Tournament play.
• Carolina is 3-1 against the Badgers, all under head coach Roy Williams.
• The schools have split two previous NCAA Tournament games with Carolina beating the Badgers in the 2005 East Regional final in Syracuse and Wisconsin knocking off the Tar Heels in the 2015 Sweet 16 in Los Angeles in the West Region.
• Carolina also defeated Wisconsin in the 2011 ACC/Big Ten Challenge in Chapel Hill and the 2016 Maui Invitational title game.
• UNC has never played the Badgers in Madison, Wis., although the Tar Heels played their first two of 173 NCAA Tournament games there in 1941 against Pittsburgh and Dartmouth.
• Carolina is 16-6 against Big Ten schools in the NCAA Tournament. This is the first time UNC has played a Big Ten opponent in the NCAA Tournament since beating Indiana in Philadelphia in the 2016 East Region semifinal.
• Carolina and Wisconsin have three common opponents this season– Iowa, Louisville and Marquette. Both went 0-1 vs. Marquette, Iowa was 1-0 vs. Carolina and 3-0 vs. the Badgers and both teams trounced Louisville (Wisconsin by 37 and UNC by 45).
• Should the Tar Heels defeat Wisconsin and advance, it would be UNC’s first game ever against Baylor or Hartford.
FIVE TAR HEELS EARN ACC HONORS
• Sophomore forward/center Armando Bacot was selected to the All-ACC third team. Bacot also earned first-team All-ACC Tournament honors after scoring 49 points and pulling down 32 rebounds in the three games.
• Four freshmen also earned ACC honors.
• Day’Ron Sharpe and Caleb Love were selected to the ACC All-Freshman team, the first time multiple Tar Heels made the freshman team since Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall in 2011.
• Freshmen RJ Davis and Kerwin Walton earned spots on the Academic All-ACC team. They are the sixth and seventh UNC freshmen to make the Academic All-ACC team with Henrik Rodl, Tyler Zeller, Marcus Paige, Luke Maye and Nassir Little.
10 ACC WINS AGAIN
• Carolina went 10-6 in ACC play.
• This was the 15th time in 18 seasons under Roy Williams the Tar Heels won at least 10 regular-season ACC games (and the 44th time in ACC history).
• That is the second-most seasons with at least 10 wins in the Roy Williams era (Duke 16, UNC 15, Virginia 10, Florida State 8, NC State and Virginia Tech 6).
TOP HALF OF THE LEAGUE
• Carolina tied for fifth in the ACC with a 10-6 record despite playing more road games (9) than home games (7) and playing arguably the most challenging schedule in the league.
• That was Carolina’s 62nd finish in the top half of the league in 68 ACC seasons.
• Carolina was one of three teams in the ACC with a winning record (with Clemson and Georgia Tech) that played 12 games against the top 10 teams in the ACC standings. UNC and Clemson were the only teams that played just four games against the bottom five teams in the standings.
• UNC and Virginia played the most away games (7) against the top 10 teams in the ACC standings.
• Carolina went 10-1 at home this season, including 7-0 in ACC play.
• This was the first time UNC went undefeated at home in ACC play since going 8-0 in 2016-17.
• This was the sixth time UNC went undefeated in ACC play in the Smith Center (1986-87, 1992-93, 2004-05, 2010-11, 2016-17 and 2020-21).
• Covid-19 resulted in the cancellation of four ACC games for the Tar Heels, three of which were scheduled for the Smith Center. They included January 12 vs. Clemson (which Syracuse replaced), February 8 vs. Miami, February 16 vs. Virginia Tech and February 23 at Boston College.
• Between the January 23 game vs. NC State and February 17 game vs. Northeastern, Carolina played four consecutive ACC games on the road. That was the first time UNC played four straight true ACC road games in one season since 1964-65.
• Before the season began, Carolina had five non-conference games canceled as the NCAA limited schedules to 27 games. Those included home games against UNC Asheville, UNCW and Loyola (Md.) and games at Hawai’i and Monmouth.
• The Tar Heels are averaging 82.0 points over their last nine games and 84.8 over the last four.
• Carolina scored 91 points in its March 6 home win over Duke, a season-high 101 points against Notre Dame and 81 in the ACC quarterfinals against Virginia Tech. Those were among the 10 times in the last 17 games UNC scored 80 or more points, something it did only one time (in a 13-point loss at Iowa) in its first 11 games.
• Carolina’s 101 points vs. Notre Dame were its most in an ACC Tournament game since 1993 and the first time any team hit 100 in regulation in the ACC Tournament since 1999.
• Carolina scored 91 points in both wins over Duke. That marked the first time UNC scored 90 or more points twice in the same season against Duke since 1983.
• Three Tar Heels average in double figures, but six are averaging 8.2 points or better. Sophomore Armando Bacot leads the team in scoring at 12.2 points per game. The last time UNC’s leading scorer averaged less than 13 points was 1947-48 (12.2 by Bob Paxton).
• Carolina has had 10 different players score in double figures (Baylor is the only Power 5 team that has more with 11), but no player has done so in more than 19 games. Armando Bacot leads with 19 double-figure games, followed by Garrison Brooks (16), Caleb Love (15), RJ Davis (14), Day’Ron Sharpe (12) and Kerwin Walton (11).
• Four players have scored 20 points this season – Love (twice), Sharpe (twice), Bacot (twice) and Walker Kessler.
• In four halves against Duke this season the Tar Heels shot 51.6, 54.5, 55.2 and 55.6 percent from the floor.
• The Tar Heels have trailed at the half in 15 of 28 games. Carolina has rallied to win six of those 15 games.
• UNC is 11-1 when it leads at the half, 6-9 when in it trails and 1-0 when tied.
• The ACC semifinal against Florida State continued a trend where the Tar Heels trailed early before playing a strong second half. FSU led by 13 in the first and 11 at the half, before Carolina opened the second on a 27-11 run to take a five-point lead.
• For the season, the opponents have outscored the Tar Heels by 12 points in the first half, while Carolina has outscored their opponents by 188 points (6.7 ppg) in the second.
• Carolina has trailed by double digits in the first half 12 times, rallying to win four of those games (UNLV, NC Central, Kentucky and Florida State at home). Three other times UNC took the lead in the second half after trailing by 10 or more in the first, but eventually lost the game (Texas, at Iowa and Florida State in the ACC semifinals).
• UNC also won at Miami after the Hurricanes took a 10-point lead midway through the second half.
• Carolina has shot a higher percentage from the floor in the second half in each of the last eight games, 10 of the last 11 and 19 times overall.
• Carolina has shot 50 percent from the floor in the first half five times this season and has won four of those games (Kentucky, loss at NC State, home win over the Wolfpack, at Duke and Louisville).
• UNC has shot 50 percent or better from the floor for the game six times this season (.544 vs. NC State, .525 at Pittsburgh, .531 at Duke, a season-high .607 vs. Louisville, .554 in the home win over Duke and .506 vs. Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament). UNC is 6-0 this season and 220-9 in 18 seasons under Roy Williams when it shoots 50 percent from the floor.
• Turnovers have been a major storyline throughout the season, in large part because the Tar Heels play six freshmen among their 10-man rotation.
• For the season, UNC has 19 more assists than turnovers. Carolina has never committed more turnovers than it had assists in 17 previous seasons under Roy Williams. The closest it came was in 2009-10, when the NIT-bound Tar Heels replaced four starters from a national championship team and had 15 more assists than turnovers in 37 games.
• In ACC play this season, the Tar Heels had 271 assists and 241 turnovers.
• The Tar Heels are 13-3 this season when they have more assists than turnovers.
• In 18 seasons under Roy Williams, the Tar Heels have won 81.4 percent of their games when they have fewer turnovers than their opponents.
• Carolina’s opponents average only 0.4 more points off turnovers for the season than the Tar Heels (15.8 to 15.4). However, the opponents have scored 19 or more points off turnovers in five of the last seven games, including 25 by Florida State in Chapel Hill, 28 by Syracuse, 23 by Duke and 19 by the Seminoles in the ACC semifinals.
• Freshman Kerwin Walton leads UNC with 56 three-pointers and three-point percentage at .415 (56 of 135).
• Walton has the highest three-point percentage by a UNC freshman in program history.
HIGHEST THREE-POINT PERCENTAGE —
SEASON BY A FRESHMAN (min. 50 made)
.415 Kerwin Walton, 2020-21 (56 of 135)
.414 Rashad McCants, 2002-03 (72 of 174)
.371 Wayne Ellington, 2006-07 (66 of 178)
.359 Joseph Forte, 1999-00 (56 of 156)
.358 Raymond Felton, 2002-03 (69 of 193)
• Freshmen Caleb Love and RJ Davis are second and third with 32 and 31 threes, respectively. Love is shooting 26.0 percent from three for the season but has hit 12 in the last five games. Davis made a season-high four threes among his 19 points in the ACC quarterfinals vs. Virginia Tech.
• UNC has made 31 threes in the last four games (eight vs. Duke, nine vs. Notre Dame, eight vs. Virginia Tech and six vs. Florida State). Players other than Kerwin Walton, who leads the team in threes, made 22 of those 31 three-pointers.
• UNC has made 10 three-pointers twice this season, including January 16 at Florida State and February 6 at Duke.
• The Tar Heels have won the last five times they made at least seven threes in a game (since they lost when making 10 at FSU).
• The Tar Heels are shooting 3 1.7 percent from three-point range this season, which is on pace for the second lowest in school history.
• Carolina has been outscored 276-147 from the three-point line in its 10 losses this season.
• The opponents have averaged 9.2 threes in the nine losses and shot 40.9 percent from beyond the arc (UNC has made 4.9 threes per game and shot 28.7 percent in the losses).
• In UNC’s 18 wins, the opponents still make more threes (7.1 to 6.0), but the Tar Heels have an advantage in percentage (.322 to .310).
• Carolina is making 5.6 three-pointers per game. Last season, the Tar Heels made 5.48 per game. In the previous three seasons, UNC had made 7.08 (2016-17), 8.24 (2017-18) and a school-record 8.67 (2018-19) per game.
• Tar Heel freshmen have started 58 games this season, the sixth most in the country and the most of any team in the 2021 NCAA Tournament.
• Should Carolina start its most-frequent lineup this season, which includes freshmen Caleb Love and Kerwin Walton, it would be the first time UNC started two freshmen in an NCAA Tournament game since Harrison Barnes and Kendall Marshall started four in the 2011 Tournament.
• KenPom ranks Carolina the 330th-most experienced team in the nation (out of 342 teams).
• UNC freshmen played 2,983 of 5,600 minutes (53.3 percent) this season.
• Freshmen are third (Caleb Love), fourth (Day’Ron Sharpe), fifth (RJ Davis) and sixth (Kerwin Walton) in scoring. This would be the first season four freshmen are among UNC’s top six scorers.
• Freshmen have scored 57.6 percent of Carolina’s points this season (1,220 of 2,119 points). That’s the second-highest percentage in any season at UNC. The 2002-03 team got 58.4 percent of its scoring from freshmen, including Rashad McCants, Sean May, Raymond Felton and David Noel. In the first nine games that season, before May broke his foot, freshmen accounted for 62 percent of the team’s scoring.
HIGHEST PERCENTAGE OF SCORING BY FRESHMEN
.584 in 2002-03
.576 in 2020-21
.502 in 2006-07
.501 in 2005-06
.372 in 1995-96
• Five Tar Heels won ACC Freshman of the Week honors this season, the first time in ACC history one team had five different players earn Freshman of the Week honors in the same season (Wake Forest had four different winners in 1978-79).
• Caleb Love won twice for his play against Wake Forest/NC State and Duke, Day’Ron Sharpe vs. Notre Dame, RJ Davis vs. Syracuse/Florida State, Kerwin Walton vs. Northeastern/Louisville and Walker Kessler vs. Marquette/Florida State.
• The six weekly awards this season were the most by UNC freshmen since Harrison Barnes (3), Kendall Marshall (3) and Reggie Bullock (1) combined for seven in 2010-11.
• Carolina point guards have won ACC Freshman of the Week honors nine times in the last three seasons (five by Coby White in 2018-19, twice in an injury-shortened season a year ago by Cole Anthony and two times by Love).
• Prior to this season, the single-game record for combined scoring by UNC freshmen was 58 against Penn State in the 2002-03 opener. UNC’s freshmen topped that figure four times in ACC play this season – 73 vs. Louisville, 70 vs. Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament (a school record), 62 at home vs. Florida State and 61 at home vs. NC State.
• In one stretch of UNC’s ACC quarterfinal win over Virginia Tech, Tar Heel freshmen accounted for 26 consecutive points.
• Carolina’s win over Florida State on February 27 marked the first time in UNC history four freshmen were the only Tar Heels to score in double figures (Walker Kessler 20, Kerwin Walton 13, RJ Davis 12 and Caleb Love 12).
• This is the eighth time in Williams’ 18 seasons at UNC a freshman started at the point for at least a majority of the season: Bobby Frasor in 2005-06, Ty Lawson in 2006-07, Kendall Marshall in 2010-11, Marcus Paige in 2012-13, Nate Britt in 2013-14, Coby White in 2018-19, Cole Anthony in 2019-20 and Caleb Love in 2020-21.
• Love is the fourth Tar Heel to start at the point in the last four seasons (senior Joel Berry II in 2017-18, White in 2018-19, Anthony in 2019-20 and Love).
• Carolina leads the nation in offensive rebounding (15.9 per game) and rebound margin (+10.9) and is third in total rebounds per game (43.2 rpg).
• Carolina is setting a school record for most offensive rebounds per game.
MOST OFFENSIVE REBOUNDS PER GAME
15.89 in 2020-21 (445 in 28 games)
15.75 in 2016-17 (630 in 40 games)
15.51 in 2007-08 (605 in 39 games)
15.50 in 2011-12 (589 in 38 games)
15.33 in 2003-04 (460 in 30 games)
• Carolina pulled down 54 rebounds vs. Notre Dame in the ACC Tournament, which matched its season high vs. UNLV.
• UNC has grabbed 40 or more rebounds 18 times in 18 games this season.
• This is the seventh consecutive season UNC is averaging at least 40 rebounds per game (the 14th time in Roy Williams‘ 18 seasons as UNC’s head coach).
• Carolina also leads the nation in offensive rebound percentage, retrieving 41.3 percent of its own missed shots. Houston is second and Baylor, a possible second-round opponent, is fourth.
• UNC has more offensive rebounds than its opponents in 25 of 28 games. The Tar Heels shot 50 percent from the floor in the one game an opponent had more offensive rebounds (12-8 on March 6 by Duke) and two games when the teams had the same number of offensive rebounds as UNC (Wake Forest and Louisville).
• Carolina is averaging 16.8 second-chance points, the second-most second-chance points UNC has averaged in the last 10 seasons (17.6 in 2016-17).
• UNC’s rebound margin of +10.9 per game is the third highest in school history.
HIGHEST REBOUNDING MARGIN PER GAME
12.3 in 2016-17
11.0 in 2007-08
10.9 in 2020-21
10.8 in 1956-57
10.4 in 2018-19
10.4 in 2011-12
• Three Tar Heels – Armando Bacot (8.0), Day’Ron Sharpe (7.8) and Garrison Brooks (6.8) – average 6.8 or rebounds, the first time UNC has had three average that many since 1969-70.
• Carolina has finished first, first, first and second in the nation in rebounds per game in the last four seasons and in the top 10 nationally in rebound margin in each of the last six seasons.
• Carolina has either led in the final 10 minutes, including three times when UNC led inside the final 3:30, or trailed by one possession in the final minutes in seven of its 10 losses this season:
– led Texas with 2:35 left after a Garrison Brooks basket, but lost, 69-67, on a last-second shot;
– led, 68-67 at Iowa with 9:30 to play, but lost, 93-80;
– rallied from 17 down to within two at NC State with 10 seconds to play and had two three-point attempts in the final seconds that could have tied the game in a 79-76 loss;
– led Georgia Tech by six at the half, by eight with 6:36 to play and 65-64 with 3:25 remaining, but lost, 72-67;
– trailed Florida State, 74-73, with 2:22 to play in the Seminoles’ 82-75 win in Tallahassee.
– trailed at Syracuse, 70-68, with 19 seconds to play but lost 72-70.
– led Florida State, 64-62 after RJ Davis made three free throws with 3:15 to play, but lost, 69-66 in the ACC semifinals.
COURTESY NORTH CAROLINA ATHLETIC COMMUNICATIONS
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