Villanova v North Carolina

North Carolina survives Villanova, set up likely Roy Williams-Kansas reunion in third round

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The North Carolina Tar Heels did what Kansas State and ACC rival N.C. State couldn’t do on Friday: defeat a Philadelphia opponent. The Tar Heels blew a 20-point lead and survived Villanova with 78-71 win in an 8-9 matchup in the South Region at the Sprint Center in Kansas City, Mo.

With seven minutes to go in the first half, North Carolina was up 32-12 on Villanova. By halftime, the Wildcats cut the lead to eight. Seven minutes in to the second half, Villanova regained the lead on a Jayvaughn Pinkston free throw. The Tar Heels countered with threes from Reggie Bullock and P.J. Hairston. James Michael McAdoo upped the lead to nine with four minutes to go, but that lead wasn’t even safe.

The Wildcats came storming back, cutting the lead to two twice. The Wildcats forced a turnover with its full-court press and Pinkston could have cut the lead to two a third time, but his layup attempt fell of the rim in the hands of Hairston. Ryan Arcidiacono was having a cut on his eye bandaged on the sideline, forcing Durran Hillard to bring the ball up. Hillard missed a shot in the lane, and Marcus Paige threw the ball up to Hairston who drew an and-1.

North Carolina lost the battle on the board by nine, espeically on the offensive glass — 15-9. The Tar Heels survived being outrebounded with 11-for-21 3-point shooter. Hairston and Bullock were 5-for-8 and 3-of-6, respectively, from behind the arc. North Carolina’s likely third round opponent will be Kansas, ranked 15th in the nation in rebounding margin.

If Kansas can avoid being the first No. 1 seed to be upset by a No. 16 seed, the third round promises to provide one of the more interesting storylines of this wild NCAA tournament. Roy Williams would be matched up against the team he coached for 15 seasons. Maybe 10 years, a national title and Bill Self is enough to make KU fans forgive Williams for leaving Lawrence for a return Chapel Hill

Terrence is also the lead writer at and can be followed on Twitter: @terrence_payne

Utah lands top-75 center Jayce Johnson

Larry Krystkowiak
AP Photo
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Utah picked up its center of the future on Monday as four-star center Jayce Johnson pledged to the Runnin’ Utes, a source confirmed to The 7-foot Johnson recently cut his list to Cal, Colorado and Utah with the possibility of reclassifying to the Class of 2015.

Regarded as the No. 67 overall prospect in the Class of 2016, Johnson will look to attend Utah in December as a walk-on who will redshirt. While Johnson likely won’t play this season, he does give head coach Larry Krystkowiak another big man to use in practice to go against sophomore center Jakob Poeltl. A solid long-term prospect, Johnson has a good frame to add weight and he’s also skilled finishing with both hands. Utah now has its replacement for Poeltl if he opts to leave for the NBA after the season and he gets an extra semester to work with the program.

Johnson is coming off of his official visit to Utah this weekend as he joins junior college guard Jojo Zamora in the Class of 2016.


PHOTO: South Carolina gets new uniforms

Frank Martin
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South Carolina debuted some new uniforms early this week as the school is going with a fresh look and three color ways.

They’re also going to with the “Carolina” branding this season, but I think these new uniforms look pretty cool.