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Joe Ovies

Talking Points: Kansas overpowers UNC down the stretch

Posted March 24, 2013

1. North Carolina had its season shut down by Kansas in the third round of the NCAA tournament. The natural tendency is to immediately process the last few months of basketball and determine whether or not the campaign was a success.

Saying it was a good, not great, season in Chapel Hill is probably the fairest assessment. Roy Williams pushed the right buttons with the lineup change and turned what could have been a rehash of the 2010 NIT squad into a buzzed-about stretch of basketball that almost produced an ACC Tournament title.

In the end, the Tar Heels took care of business against teams at or below their level and just couldn't get over the ones slotted above them. It certainly wasn't because they lacked urgency, which could be a question easily lobbed in the direction of another school in the Triangle. It's just that those other teams ended up being better than North Carolina. Hoops Headquarters -- black 2014 NCAA men's interactive bracket

Quibble and nitpick at Williams' reluctance to insert P.J. Hairston into the starting five in favor of trying to shoehorn a trio of big men into his system, but he gave plenty of hints to understand his reasoning. Once Hairston gave Williams what he was looking for, in games and in practice, the Heels turned into a fun group to watch.

Crowds ate up every 3-point attempt by Reggie Bullock, Marcus Paige matured and Dexter Strickland's YOLO adventures became a thing.

2. So what in the world happened to North Carolina on Sunday night? Going 22-of-73 from the field and getting out-rebounded 47-30 will do the trick.

Yet the Tar Heels had control over Kansas at halftime thanks to a 14-4 run. North Carolina forced 12 turnovers, did a good job helping on Jeff Withey and forced the Jayhawks to operate outside the paint. ROy Williams: Kansas had more energy in 2nd half

The shift began when Travis Releford hit Kansas' first 3-pointer of the NCAA tournament, followed by Elijah Johnson burying a 3-pointer to tie the game at 35 with 15:26 left on the clock. Naadir Tharpe ended up hitting three from beyond the arc. 

3. Withey also came alive. The senior looked like he could fit right in with the Dunk City boys of Florida Gulf Coast and made life hell for James Michael McAdoo. The Tar Heels had to settled on the perimeter against one of the best defensive teams in the country, which was a recipe for disaster. 

Withey also created a viral moment with one of his five blocks of the night. CBS cameras caught a North Carolina reacting with a stank face similar to DeAndre Jordan's after he dunked on Brandon Knight a couple weeks back. Although Twitter claims he's was crying and Twitter never gets anything wrong. Ever. 

4. Two is a coincidence. Three is a trend. Now 0-3 against Kansas in the NCAA tournament, Roy Williams has a new narrative to deal with, and his outward fondness for the 15 years he coached the Jayhawks doesn't help matters.

Frankly, it's all dumb. Williams shouldn't have to constantly explain the situation when North Carolina and Kansas show up in the same bracket. Especially since it's worked out for everyone in the end. The Heels have two NCAA Championships and the Jayhawks got their own back in 2008.

It's also silly to complain about the home-court atmosphere in Kansas City. Let's not act like North Carolina hasn't enjoyed similar treatment as a higher seed playing in Raleigh, Greensboro and Charlotte.

34 Comments

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  • dave437 Mar 26, 11:10 a.m.

    bigger question - will Roy show up this weekend wearing a Jayhawks patch on his sweater?

  • olivechapel1000 Mar 25, 4:47 p.m.

    Its funny how UNC gets a good pat on the back and NCSU gets the boot for almost the same record.... View More

    — Posted by olivechapel1000

    Obviously you catch the memo that UNC had 4 NBA Lottery picks leave.... Returning only 1... View More

    — Posted by bblack

    Here is a quote, "Check your facts"

    UNC was Ranked 10-11 at one point. Too much expectations?

    NC... View More

    — Posted by olivechapel1000

    This guy just said 4.4ppg and a 6.2ppg players were BIG loses!!! LOLOLOLOL

    Henson- ACC... View More

    — Posted by bblack

    I am sure your mother is proud of you. Nice use of Language.
    Did you learn those keyboards tricks in Class at UNC.

    My point was that NC State got a lot of out good players last year, not NBA draft 1st round players who were looking to get their next pay check and cut class. Its hard to replace A senior with a freshman. Painter had a good year for another school, PPG 13.0 RPG 8.4, he had to leave for Family medical in case your misinformed. Alex Johnson was a big loss in terms of defense which State needed this year as well as leadership. So Alex Johnson is a NC State player who played hard and now you will remember his name.
    CJ Williams was another player who got the most of out his talent.
    I have to always look up who played on Carolina. I think that Smith has to do the same. As far as Survive and Advance, why watch when you lived it.

  • olivechapel1000 Mar 25, 1:51 p.m.

    Its funny how UNC gets a good pat on the back and NCSU gets the boot for almost the same record.... View More

    — Posted by olivechapel1000

    Obviously you catch the memo that UNC had 4 NBA Lottery picks leave.... Returning only 1... View More

    — Posted by bblack

    Here is a quote, "Check your facts"

    UNC was Ranked 10-11 at one point. Too much expectations?

    NC State Lost 3 big players from Last year.
    ## SUMMARY GP-GS Min FG% 3PT% FT% R/G A/G STL BLK PTS/G
    21 Williams,CJ......... 37-37 31.1 .500 .343 .808 3.8 1.8 40 14 10.6
    00 Painter,DeShawn..... 37-7 20.0 .423 .000 .718 4.3 0.4 8 21 6.2
    03 Johnson,Alex........ 37-0 19.5 .338 .299 .738 1.7 2.8 31 0 4.4

    They also lost 3 other players So yes, UNC had 4 players that have done so-so this year in the NBA. They had 4 NBA picks and were soundly defeated by Kansas last year.

    And guess what, next year the real teams come into the League.

    I think that all the stuff is real at NC State. How are those online classes at UNC?

  • TruthBKnown Banned Again01 Mar 25, 1:42 p.m.

    Down the stretch???

    I think you mean the entire second half!

  • Gunnstigator Mar 25, 1:28 p.m.

    ^Make that 3rd round, can't edit for some reason.

    — Posted by BattlingBishop 5

    WRAL does not allow edits on columns. No idea why not.

    I liked it better the first time, when... View More

    — Posted by Ken D.

    I agree, Ken. I can't justify calling the play-in games "round 1" either. At least the ACC has two teams going to the Sweet Sixteen.

  • wncstate1990 Mar 25, 1:26 p.m.

    Roy shows why he is one of the elite coaches. When faced with a losing ACC record, he came up with a solution that worked and they ended up with a winning season.

    While it isn't exactly the success that the spoiled fans of CH might have wanted, Roy shaped this team into a decent contender to win. Kansas was the superior team yesterday and they proved it with their win. UNC has nothing to hang their heads about, they had a good season this year.

  • briandukepeds Mar 25, 1:13 p.m.

    So was Roy wearing his Kansas pin? Or did he know he would be able to bust it out next weekend at Sweet 16 without his team seeing him?

  • brazzie_1 Mar 25, 1:08 p.m.

    Guess Roy can quit whining about being a #8 seed now.....

  • nufsaid Mar 25, 12:53 p.m.

    Its funny how UNC gets a good pat on the back and NCSU gets the boot for almost the same record.... View More

    — Posted by olivechapel1000

    Obviously you catch the memo that UNC had 4 NBA Lottery picks leave.... Returning only 1... View More

    — Posted by bblack

    Did you get the memo about the "classes" that were "attended" by some of the NCAA champion basketball players at UNC during Roy's tenure?

  • nufsaid Mar 25, 12:49 p.m.

    Dorothy and Roy "aren't in Kansas anymore". Dorothy was dreaming and was welcomed back to Kansas. Not sure the Jayhawks miss him.

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