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Kansas ousts UNC from NCAA tournament, 70-58

Updated 10:03 p.m.

KANSAS CITY — What saved North Carolina’s season also doomed it in the end. The Tar Heels, who had shot so well recently, went cold from the perimeter against one of the best defensive teams in the nation and suffered a season-ending 70-58 defeat against Kansas on Sunday night in the third round of the NCAA tournament.

This is what UNC coach Roy Williams feared when he changed his strategy midseason and began using a four-guard starting lineup. Before making that change, Williams said he didn’t want the Tar Heels to be a team that lived by the 3-pointer and died by it.

But the Heels’ perimeter offense often gave them life during the past six weeks. It extinguished it on Sunday.

UNC survives Villanova 78-71 to advance in NCAA tournament

Both North Carolina’s best asset and most glaring liability played prominent roles on Friday night against Villanova. In the end, the Tar Heels ability to shoot from the perimeter outweighed their inability to rebound, and UNC escaped with an 78-71 victory in the second round of the NCAA tournament.

UNC coach Roy Williams made the mid-season switch to a smaller, four-guard starting lineup because he believed it would give his team its best chance to be successful. But he also understood that the lineup presented risks – especially against teams with size, and ones that rebound well.

The eighth-seeded Tar Heels (25-10) ability to shoot saved them on Friday inside the Sprint Center, after they surrendered a 20-point first-half lead. But their inability to rebound effectively nearly doomed them

UNC vs. Villanova: The preview

North Carolina freshman point guard Marcus Paige said he won't be fazed by the pressure of the NCAA tournament. ROBERT WILLETT

KANSAS CITY — And welcome to game day, folks. We’re a little more than three hours away from North Carolina’s game tonight against Villanova in the NCAA tournament. The Tar Heels are the No. 8 seed in the South Region. The Wildcats are the No. 9. The winner tonight would likely play Kansas here on Sunday.

But first things first. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out this story about Marcus Paige. People say it’s tough to win with a freshman point guard in March. Paige isn’t buying that.

Also, in case you didn’t know, UNC has some history here in Kansas City. The Tar Heels won the 1957 national championship here. Luke DeCock, our columnist, delivers a worthy read on Lennie Rosenbluth, UNC's 57 title team and how it changed college basketball.

Onto the preview:

Roy Williams was stunned to learn UNC a No. 8 seed in NCAA tournament

North Carolina coach Roy Williams says he was "confused" by NCAA tournament selection show. ROBERT WILLETT

CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina coach Roy Williams was “stunned” when he learned that the Tar Heels would be a No. 8 seed in the NCAA tournament, he said on Tuesday. UNC, the eighth seed in the South Region, will play against No. 9 Villanova on Friday in Kansas City.

The winner likely gets to play Kansas, the region’s top seed, on Sunday. Williams coached at Kansas for 15 seasons before returning to his alma mater in 2003.

I have a full story coming about Williams’ comments, but here he is, in his own words, about UNC’s seeding:

UNC vs. Villanova: Getting to know the Wildcats

North Carolina coach Roy Williams will need his small lineup to play big against Villanova. ROY WILLIAMS

CHAPEL HILL — North Carolina will begin play on Friday in the NCAA tournament in Kansas City. The Tar Heels, seeded eighth in the South Region, will play against No. 9 Villanova. The winner would likely play against Kansas, the region’s top seed, on Sunday.

UNC coach Roy Williams disappointed in NCAA tournament selection committee

North Carolina coach Roy Williams isn't happy with the NCAA tournament selection committee. ROBERT WILLETT

North Carolina coach Roy Williams voiced his displeasure earlier today with the NCAA tournament selection committee, which awarded three ACC teams with at-large bids for the NCAA tournament.

Miami, which defeated North Carolina 87-77 in the ACC tournament championship game on Sunday, earned the ACC’s automatic bid to the NCAA tournament. The Hurricanes became the first team in history not to receive a No. 1 seed after both winning the ACC regular season outright and winning the conference tournament.

UNC a No. 8 seed in NCAA tournament

GREENSBORO — North Carolina coach Roy Williams could coach against his old team in the third round of the NCAA tournament. First, though, the Tar Heels will need to beat Villanova.

Miami beats UNC 87-77 to win 1st ACC tournament championship

For a while on Sunday, North Carolina and Miami played a classic, and played one of the finest games in a long season. But after 10 ties and 16 lead changes, the Hurricanes made the last push and held off UNC for a 87-77 victory in the ACC tournament championship game.

The championship was Miami’s first and by winning it, the Hurricanes denied the Tar Heels their 18th tournament title. Back and forth for most of the first 35 minutes, Miami took a 69-67 lead with 6:27 to play. The Hurricanes held the lead from there.

UNC survives Maryland 79-76, will play Miami for ACC championship

The tension rising throughout the second half, North Carolina never lost its lead – or its poise – in the ACC tournament semifinals at the Greensboro Coliseum. The Tar Heels held on to beat the Terrapins 79-76 and will play Miami on Sunday in the tournament championship game.

UNC led by as many as 13 points midway through the second half, but Maryland, which mounted comeback attempt after comeback attempt, whittled the Heels’ lead to a point with 3:12 to play. From there, UNC built its lead back up to five, only to see the Terps make it a two-point game with 19 seconds left.

UNC cruises to 83-62 win over Florida State

GREENSBORO — In the final game of the regular season, North Carolina learned what could happen – what would happen – when it failed to create quality shots on the perimeter. The Tar Heels’ lopsided loss against Duke was a painful lesson for a team that had been shooting well, mostly, since mid-February.

The struggles from the perimeter, though, proved to be short-lived. UNC regained its outside touch during its 83-62 victory against Florida State here on Friday night in the ACC tournament quarterfinals at the Greensboro Coliseum.

The victory, though, came with a price: P.J. Hairston, the sophomore guard who led UNC (23-9, 13-6 ACC) with 21 points, left the game late in the second half after suffering a gash between the ring finger and middle finger on his left hand. The cut was so deep it required eight stitches.

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