North Carolina will head into an NCAA tournament third-round game today trying to advance to the Midwest Regional semifinals but still uncertain about the playing status of John Henson. Henson, a 6-foot-11 forward with a sprained left wrist, still hasn't been cleared to play. North Carolina will play Creighton at 5:15 p.m. at the Greensboro Coliseum, with the winner to advance to St. Louis for next week's play.
Tar Heels wary of hot-shooting Bluejays
The Winston-Salem Journal
Just two years ago, Doug McDermott and Harrison Barnes were driving around in McDermott's 2005 Nissan Murano, watching the NCAA Tournament together and wrapping up a second straight championship season at Ames High School in Iowa.
Today those players will face off with a berth in the Sweet 16 at stake when top seed North Carolina (30-5) faces No. 8 Creighton (29-5) at the Greensboro Coliseum (5:15 p.m., CBS).
ROUND 2: HEELS/JAYS FACE OFF AT 5:15 SUNDAY
The Durham Herald-Sun
Two years ago in Ames, Iowa, when Doug McDermott pulled up in his white 2005 Nissan Murano and his high school teammates climbed in, there never was a question of who would be riding beside him.
The top basketball recruit in the country, Harrison Barnes.
"I always had shotgun," Barnes said Saturday.
"He wouldn't have it any other way," McDermott said.
From the front seat of that sport-utility vehicle to the bright stage of the NCAA Tournament, their relationship intriguingly intersects today as North Carolina meets Creighton at the Greensboro Coliseum.
From friends to foes: Tar Heels forward to face ex-teammate
The Burlington Times-News
Wearing a grey suit and sandwiched in between the freshmen and walk-ons on North Carolina's bench, forward John Henson watched his teammates overwhelm Vermont in their NCAA tournament opener Friday night.
With tournament rules limiting a team's bench spots, fellow injured Tar Heels Dexter Strickland and Leslie McDonald had to sit a few rows back in the media-overflow area. They watched the 77-58 blowout shifting uncomfortably in the cramped seats.
It wasn't exactly an image in keeping with the Tar Heels' status as college basketball rock stars.
As injuries mount, Tar Heels quietly show resilience
The Fayetteville Observer
The sight of Harrison Barnes and Doug McDermott on a basketball court once made Vance Downs a happy, thankful man. Now it just makes him nervous.
Downs coached both players at Ames High in Iowa, and he will be watching Sunday when Barnes and North Carolina play against McDermott and Creighton in the third round of the NCAA tournament's Midwest region (5:15 p.m.).
UNC Barnes faces old Iowa high school teammate in Creighton game
The Charlotte Observer
On the evening of May 29, 1992, Shirley Barnes sat on her couch in Ames, Iowa, watching her favorite player, Michael Jordan, in Game 6 of the NBA Eastern Conference Finals. As she did with every game that the Bulls played on television, Barnes taped it for the son she might someday have. Jordan scored 29 points that night to help the Bulls win 99-94 and clinch the series, just as Shirley was going into labor.
When Shirley's son was born at 1:03 the following morning, he had to be taken to the ICU to remove fluid from his lungs. The boy still teases his mother about how he may not have had to spend his first two days in ICU if Shirley could've just left Jordan and the Bulls before the game was over.
What's in a name? For UNC star Harrison Barnes, everything
The Charlotte Observer
They'll run out onto the stage Sunday, in front of God, country and Jim Nantz. Creighton gets to play North Carolina.
That's not Creighton has to play North Carolina. It gets to play the Tar Heels. There's an important distinction there. Opportunity, not purgatory.
This is the biggest stage the proud program has played on. Ever. It's hard to compare different eras. Coach Red McManus took on the world. He got John Wooden to come to Omaha for a game. CU played NCAA champion Cincinnati (though without Oscar Robertson) in the NCAA tourney in 1962. Played Kansas in the 1974 tourney with KU on the way to the Final Four.
Now the Bluejays are on the threshold of the Sweet 16. And standing in the way are the No. 1-seeded Tar Heels, coached by two-time national champ Roy Williams, here on Tobacco Road and on national TV late Sunday afternoon.
In Tar Heels, Bluejays have major opportunity
The Omaha World-Herald