UNC starts quick, surges past Villanova

Mar. 23, 2013 @ 01:13 AM

No. 8 North Carolina experienced the range of emotions that come from relying on 3-pointers in the NCAA Tournament.

The Tar Heels were hot early on and led by 20 in the first half Friday against No. 9 Villanova. Then they went 16 minutes without a 3-pointer and trailed with 12:10 remaining.

Finally they made six more 3-pointers down the stretch to pull out a 78-71 Friday night at the Sprint Center.

“At certain points during the game, we were really, really good,” said UNC coach Roy Williams, who won his 700th career game in his 25th season. “There were a few moments, to say the least, we were really ugly.”

Both teams took 21 attempts from behind the arc, but the Tar Heels made 11 to the Wildcats’ 4. That offset Villanova’s 37-28 rebounding advantage and 22-8 edge in points in the paint.

“They did what they do well, and we didn’t stop it like we wanted to,” Villanova coach Jay Wright said. “Eleven threes for them and four for us, I think that was the key to the game. That’s what they do. We wanted to stop it, and we couldn’t.”

It was the 28th time in its past 29 NCAA Tournament appearances that UNC won its opening game. On Sunday (5:15 p.m., WRAL), the Tar Heels will face No. 1 seed Kansas, where Williams spent his first 15 seasons as a head coach.

P.J. Hairston led UNC (25-10) with 23 points and five rebounds and was 5-of-8 from 3-point range. Only three other Tar Heels scored more than four points — James Michael McAdoo (17), Reggie Bullock (15) and Marcus Paige (14).

With Villanova dominating inside, Williams tried using a bigger lineup in the final eight minutes, replacing shooting guard Dexter Strickland with seldom-used power forward Jackson Simmons. But it still took some clutch points from Paige, UNC’s freshman point guard, to give the Tar Heels some separation down the stretch.

With two minutes left and Villanova within one, Paige had a clear pass to McAdoo in the post in transition but pulled up for a 3-pointer with 2:02 left that put the Tar Heels ahead 70-66.

“I kind of saw him as I was going up, but I made that mistake earlier in the game of changing my mind midshot,” Paige said, referring to an earlier pass to McAdoo that resulted in a turnover. “The guys do have a lot of confidence in me. This one was early in the shot clock, but it was in rhythm and I felt confident shooting it.”

After Mouphtaou Yarou scored on a layup, Paige hit a pair of free throws to get the lead back up to four and Villanova wouldn’t get any closer.

“I love the mental toughness of our team the last eight or nine minutes,” Williams said. “I thought, earlier in the game, it was all happy and smooth and the ball was going in the basket, then all of a sudden, they started competing a little harder than we did.

“They made the run right before half, and they came out and continued that early in the second half. I’m really proud of the way our team answered that.”

The Tar Heels scored 15 straight points to go up 30-11 and stretched the lead to 20 with seven minutes left in the first half. But UNC went the final 5:16 without a field goal while Villanova made seven straight shots to get within eight at the break.

“It’s human nature to relax for a second,” Paige said. “But you can’t let that happen in the tournament, because you never know.”

It took just four minutes in the second half for the Wildcats to complete the comeback, tying the game at 40 on a driving layup by Darrun Hilliard. Villanova got nine of the first 10 rebounds in the second half to help with close the gap.

That was enough for Williams, who subbed out all five starters for about two minutes.

After UNC made five of its first eight shots from behind the arc, the Wildcats started crowding the Tar Heels on the perimeter and UNC’s offense stalled without the 3-point shot.

The Tar Heels made just two field goals during a 13-minute stretch until Bullock finally hit one from deep with 12:10 left to put UNC up 47-45. Hairston followed with another 3-pointer off an offensive rebound from McAdoo to extend the lead to five.

“That’s what our game is, shooting the ball,” Bullock said.

That was a preview of the next stretch, as Hairston, Bullock and Hairston made 3-pointers on three straight possessions to put the Tar Heels up 63-54 with 5:10 remaining.

Still, that wasn’t enough to put away the Wildcats. UNC had 17 turnovers, its highest single-game total since Dec. 19 against Texas, including four in the final three minutes as Villanova stuck around until the end.

“They challenged us,” Simmons said. “We had to meet their intensity and their motor and we did.”

NORTH CAROLINA 78, VILLANOVA 71
    FG FT Reb
VILLANOVA Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS
Pinkston 34 8-15 4-6 5-8 0 3 20
Bell 30 1-6 1-2 1-5 1 4 4
Yarou 36 7-11 3-4 5-8 0 4 17
Hilliard 36 8-15 0-0 1-6 2 3 18
Arcidiacono 33 2-11 5-6 1-3 3 4 10
Chennault 21 1-3 0-1 0-3 0 2 2
Ochefu 10 0-0 0-0 1-2 0 2 0
Sutton 0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0
Totals 200 27-61 13-19 15-37 6 22 71

Percentages: FG .443, FT .684.

3-Point Goals: 4-21, .190 (Hilliard 2-6, Bell 1-6, Arcidiacono 1-8, Pinkston 0-1).

Team Rebounds: 2.

Blocked Shots: 2 (Hilliard, Yarou).

Turnovers: 16 (Pinkston 4, Arcidiacono 4, Chennault 2, Yarou 2, Bell, Ochefu, Hilliard).

Steals: 9 (Arcidiacono 3, Hilliard 2, Chennault 2, Yarou, Pinkston).

Technical Fouls: None.

    FG FT Reb
NORTH CAROLINA Min M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS
James Michael McAdoo    35 6-12 5-7 2-4 2 2 17
Dexter Strickland 25 1-3 0-0 0-0 3 2 2
Marcus Paige 32 4-6 4-4 0-3 4 2 14
P.J. Hairston 30 7-11 4-5 1-5 3 2 23
Reggie Bullock 36 4-8 4-5 0-3 4 1 15
Leslie McDonald 14 1-5 1-2 1-2 1 2 4
Luke Davis 2 0-0 0-0 0-1 0 0 0
Brice Johnson 4 1-2 0-0 0-1 0 0 2
Desmond Hubert 7 0-1 0-0 1-1 0 1 0
Jackson Simmons 11 0-1 1-4 1-3 0 2 1
J.P. Tokoto 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 1 0 0
Totals 200 24-49 19-27 6-28 18 14 78

Percentages: FG .490, FT .704.

3-Point Goals: 11-21, .524 (Hairston 5-8, Bullock 3-6, Paige 2-4, McDonald 1-3).

Team Rebounds: 5.

Blocked Shots: 2 (Tokoto, Hairston).

Turnovers: 17 (McAdoo 5, Bullock 3, Paige 3, Strickland 3, Hairston, Tokoto, Johnson).

Steals: 10 (Hairston 3, Paige 3, McAdoo 2, Bullock, Strickland).

Technical Fouls: None.

Villanova 29 42—71
North Carolina 37 41—78

A—NA.

Officials—Pat Adams, Michael Greenstein, Deron White.

 

UNC'S NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY

North Carolina (108-41)

Bill Lange

1941 — lost to Pittsburgh 26-20; lost to Dartmouth 60-59.

Ben Carnevale

1946 — beat NYU 57-49; beat Ohio State 60-57, OT; lost to Oklahoma A&M 43-40. NCAA runnerup.

Frank McGuire

1957 — beat Yale 90-74; beat Canisius 87-75; beat Syracuse 67-58; beat Michigan State 74-70, 3OT; beat Kansas 54-53, 3OT. NCAA champion.

1959 — lost to Navy 76-73.

Dean Smith

1967 — beat Princeton 78-70, OT; beat Boston College 96-80; lost to Dayton 76-62; lost to Houston 84-62. Final Four.

1968 — beat St. Bonaventure 91-72; beat Davidson 70-66; beat Ohio State 80-66; lost to UCLA 78-55. NCAA runnerup.

1969 — beat Duquesne 79-78; beat Davidson 87-85; lost to Purdue 92-65; lost to Drake 104-84. Final Four.

1972 — beat South Carolina 92-69; beat Pennsylvania 73-59; lost to Florida State 79-75; beat Louisville 105-91. Final Four.

1975 — beat New Mexico State 93-69; lost to Syracuse 78-76; beat Boston College 110-90.

1976 — lost to Alabama 79-64.

1977 — beat Purdue 69-66; beat Notre Dame 79-77; beat Kentucky 79-72; beat UNLV 84-83; lost to Marquette 67-59. NCAA runnerup.

1978 — lost to San Francisco 68-64.

1979 — lost to Pennsylvania 72-71.

1980 — lost to Texas A&M 78-61, 2OT.

1981 — beat Pittsburgh 74-57; beat Utah 61-56; beat Kansas State 82-68; beat Virginia 78-65; lost to Indiana 63-50. NCAA runnerup.

1982 — beat James Madison 52-50; beat Alabama 74-69; beat Villanova 70-60; beat Houston 68-63; beat Georgetown 63-62. NCAA champion.

1983 — beat James Madison 68-49; beat Ohio State 64-51; lost to Georgia 82-77.

1984 — beat Temple 77-66; lost to Indiana 72-68.

1985 — beat Middle Tennessee State 76-57; beat Notre Dame 60-58; beat Auburn 62-56; lost to Villanova 56-44.

1986 — beat Utah 84-72; beat UAB 77-59; lost to Louisville 94-79.

1987 — beat Pennsylvania 113-82; beat Michigan 109-97; beat Notre Dame 74-68; lost to Syracuse 79-75.

1988 — beat North Texas State 83-65; beat Loyola Marymount 123-97; beat Michigan 78-69; lost to Arizona 70-52.

1989 — beat Southern University 93-79; beat UCLA 88-81; lost to Michigan 92-87.

1990 — beat Southwest Missouri State 83-70; beat Oklahoma 79-77; lost to Arkansas 96-73.

1991 — beat Northeastern 101-66; beat Villanova 84-69; beat Eastern Michigan 93-67; beat Temple 75-72; lost to Kansas 79-73. Final Four.

1992 — beat Miami (Ohio) 68-63; beat Alabama 64-55; lost to Ohio State 80-73.

1993 — beat East Carolina 85-65; beat Rhode Island 112-67; beat Arkansas 80-74; beat Cincinnati 75-68, OT; beat Kansas 78-68; beat Michigan 77-71. NCAA champion.

1994 — beat Liberty 71-51; lost to Boston College 75-72.

1995 — beat Murray State 80-70; beat Iowa State 73-51; beat Georgetown 74-64; beat Kentucky 74-61; lost to Arkansas 75-68. Final Four.

1996 — beat New Orleans 83-62; lost to Texas Tech 92-73.

1997 — beat Fairfield 82-74; beat Colorado 73-56; beat California 63-57; beat Louisville 97-74; lost to Arizona 66-58. Final Four.

Bill Guthridge

1998 — beat Navy 88-52; beat UNC Charlotte 93-83, OT; beat Michigan State 73-58; beat Connecticut 75-64; lost to Utah 65-59. Final Four.

1999 — lost to Weber State 76-74.

2000 — beat Missouri 84-70; beat Stanford 60-53; beat Tennessee 74-69; beat Tulsa 59-55; lost to Florida 71-59. Final Four.

Matt Doherty

2001 — beat Princeton 70-48; lost to Penn State 82-74.

Roy Williams

2004 — beat Air Force 63-52; lost to Texas 78-75.

2005 — beat Oakland 96-68; beat Iowa State 92-65; beat Villanova 67-66; beat Wisconsin 88-82; beat Michigan State 87-71; beat Illinois 75-70. NCAA champion.

2006 — beat Murray State 69-65; lost to George Mason 65-60.

2007 — beat Eastern Kentucky 86-65; beat Michigan State 81-67; beat Southern Cal 74-64; lost to Georgetown 96-84, OT.

2008 — beat Mount St. Mary's 113-74; beat Arkansas 108-77; beat Washington State 68-47; beat Louisville 83-73; lost to Kansas 84-66. Final Four.

2009 — beat Radford 101-58; beat LSU 84-70; beat Gonzaga 98-77; beat Oklahoma 72-60; beat Villanova 83-69; beat Michigan State 89-72. NCAA champion.

2011 — beat LIU 102-87; beat Washington 86-83; beat Marquette 81-63; lost to Kentucky 76-69.

2012 — beat Vermont 77-58; beat Creighton 87-73; beat Ohio 73-65, OT; lost to Kansas 80-67.

2013 — beat Villanova 78-71.