North Carolina has enough in reserve to edge Kentucky, 75-73

North Carolina has enough in reserve to edge Kentucky, 75-73

North Carolina has enough in reserve to edge Kentucky, 75-73

The victor will play Midwest Region champ OR in Glendale, Arizona, on Saturday.

North Carolina took control with 12 straight points over the final 5 minutes, a run similar to what it used a week ago to beat Arkansas. The Bulldogs have struggled on the boards this year and are 323rd in the country in rebounds per game (32.2), while the Tar Heels lead the country in rebounds per game (43.8).

De'Aaron Fox led all scorers in Kentucky's Sweet 16 victory over UCLA with 39 points.

Monk, who had been scoreless since the 4:27 mark of the first half, hit a three-pointer with 38.5 seconds left to reduce UNC's lead to 71-70. Kentucky was reduced to getting points from Dominique Hawkins and especially Isaac Humphries, a 7-foot sophomore from Australia.

"I'm the guy that wanted him to come as a walk-on, so how dumb am I?" The Butler Bulldogs and Purdue Boilermakers advanced to the Sweet 16. One they hope will have a very different ending.

The Tar Heels and Bulldogs have never played in the NCAA Tournament.

But this was just the fourth time these blue bloods have met in a regional final.

The Tar Heels and Wildcats met back on December 17 in what was arguably the most nail-biting and exciting college basketball game of the regular season. ("We should have been down 15", Kentucky coach John Calipari said.) Four of the Wildcats' five starters were whistled for two first-half fouls. Fox had United Kingdom hanging right with UNC, until he picked his second foul and was forced to sit for the last 12 minutes of the first half.

"He set the world on fire against us", he said. SC built an even larger lead in an eventual 70-50 win over Baylor in Friday's earlier game at Madison Square Garden, but coach Frank Martin never made the same mistake.

The emptiness of defeat helped drive the North Carolina Tar Heels here.

The victor will go on to play the victor of UCLA vs. Kentucky in the South Regional Final.

With 5:03 remaining, Kentucky led 64-59.

Keeping Carolina off the glass will certainly be a team effort for the Bulldogs, but if Wideman can at least hold his own against the Tar Heels' elite frontcourt, it will go a long way in helping Butler pull off the upset.

North Carolina has gamely rebounded from the disappointment of last year's title game, earning a No. 1 seed on the strength of a resume that included some great wins in and out of ACC play.

UNC's last meeting with Kentucky came down to the final seconds, and that could be the case again on Sunday when the two square off in a 1-versus-2 Elite Eight showdown.

Adebayo finished the game with 13 points - all but one coming in the second half - and seven rebounds.

North Carolina Tar Heels guard Joel Berry II (2) passes the ball against Arkansas Razorbacks forward Moses Kingsley (33) during the second half in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Tournament at Bon Secours Wellness Arena.

The Fox also completely outplayed the Bruins' vaunted freshman guard Lonzo Ball, who managed only 10 points. Malik Monk totally rocked that game bringing in 47 points and bragging rights for the winning 3-pointer, while Carolina's Justin Jackson racked up a respectable 36 points. North Carolina is versatile and skilled at multiple positions. That loss didn't hurt North Carolina.00001 percent as much as Jenkins.

At the time, it looked North Carolina could start looking ahead to Phoenix.

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