Wednesday's UNC Links

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Carolina Basketball


North Carolina is already familiar with the unique playing conditions that this season's Final Four will present, after playing a game at Ford Field earlier this season.
Heels to be on familiar ground
The Winston-Salem Journal

The biggest cheer from North Carolina's bench on Sunday didn't come after Danny Green's rim-bouncing 3-pointer, Ty Lawson's run-stopping pair of free throws or Larry Drew's putback. It occurred late in the first half of the Tar Heels' NCAA South Regional victory over Oklahoma, after Sooners wing Tony Crocker had to force an errant shot at the shot clock buzzer and his team committed a shot clock violation the very next time down the floor.
Heels find defense makes a difference
The News and Observer

It was a day of infamy for North Carolina's basketball program, and the Tar Heels haven't forgotten even though almost a year has passed and another season unfolded. On April 5, 2008, at the Alamodome in San Antonio, Texas, the Tar Heels absorbed an 84-66 beating in the semifinals of the NCAA Tournament. The statistics alone are enough to make the Tar Heels who played in that game cringe.
Last year's Final Four loss still bothers Heels
The Fayetteville Observer

For North Carolina, which takes on Villanova on Saturday night in the NCAA Tournament semifinal, earning a berth in the Final Four was greeted with plenty of excitement. But the spot, which to some was a foregone conclusion six months ago, also brought out a sense of relief.
Final Four eases Tar Heels' minds
The Burlington Times-News

Sometimes it seems a lid is on the basket. Sometimes it seems an invisible hand is swatting your shots off the rim. Danny Green experienced such maddening March moments -- shooting 3-for-25 in two ACC Tournament games, then going 9-for-24 in the first two NCAA regional games. While temporarily losing his touch, North Carolina's versatile senior didn't lose his confidence and now is headed to the Final Four with his aim and game together again.
Green's shooting stroke returns, just as he knew it would
The News and Observer

Defense was supposed to be North Carolina's lone bugaboo this season, the one reason the Tar Heels might not reach the Final Four.
Tar Heels finally applying pressure
The Durham Herald-Sun

Don't adjust the volume on your TV. Ty Lawson is getting louder these days. The made-for-TV drama surrounding the star point guard's toe has dominated the airwaves lately, but his vocal cords have been an equally critical development for the championship-hungry Tar Heels, establishing him as Carolina's unquestioned emotional leader.
Ty Lawson pumps up his teammates
The Greensboro News-Record

Roy Williams targeted Wayne Ellington because he knew that his team at North Carolina, and Williams, specifically, needed what Ellington brought. Forget the four national championships, the record 18 Final Four appearances, the "Jordan" and "Worthy" and "Cunningham" banners raised above the Smith Center court. Williams believed that he needed to prove to Ellington that he needed him.
Villanova ties didn't keep North Carolina's Ellington at home
The Philadelphia Daily News

Now, UNC (32-4) will play Villanova (30-7) on Saturday in the Final Four semifinals at Ford Field in Detroit. Connecticut (31-4) will play Michigan State (30-8) in the other game. The two winners will play on April 6 for the national championship.
Tar Heels preparing for nation's hottest team
The Chapel Hill News

Incoming North Carolina freshman John Henson was born in Greensboro, but he remembers little about growing up there. But when his Tar Heel basketball career is over, Henson hopes his impact is significant enough for people in Greensboro and the rest of North Carolina not to forget him.
UNC recruits looking to make an impact
The Greensboro News-Record

Villanova University, the venerable Catholic institution in the leafy suburb of Radnor, would like a little forgiveness this week. A secular fervor has overtaken the campus over its Final Four basketball team, evoking memories of the storied 1985 national champions and giddiness among undergraduates born well after that victory had sparked raucousness and changed lives.
Final Four gives Villanova a secular spin
The Philadelphia Daily News


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