Paige, Tar Heels took care of business against Hoosiers

Marcus Paige sent early notice that North Carolina was determined to uphold its top seeding in the NCAA East Regional, knocking in his first four 3-point attempts Friday night before the Tar Heels’ game against Indiana had reached the five-minute mark.
Paige finished with 21 points and North Carolina continued its offensive prowess in March, moving to the Elite Eight for the 20th time since 1975 with a 101-86 victory over the Hoosiers.
The top-seeded Tar Heels (31-6) will meet sixth-seeded Notre Dame on Sunday, determining one of two guaranteed Atlantic Coast Conference spots in the Final Four.
The Fighting Irish also beat a Big Ten team in the regional semifinals, knocking off Wisconsin 61-56. The Badgers lost to another ACC team, Duke, in the NCAA Championship game last season.
The Midwest Regional will also be an all-ACC affair with top-seeded Virginia facing 10th-seeded Syracuse. That means Sunday’s games will resemble a reboot of the ACC tournament.
It also guarantees the conference will have a team in the championship game again since the East and Midwest regions are paired up in the Final Four in Houston next week.
But back to the UNC-Indiana game, which was essentially over as soon as the Tar Heels built their lead to 20 points midway through the second half.
It was still an 11-point game, 65-54, when Troy Williams made a 3-pointer with 15:10 left in the game. But the Tar Heels then went on a 19-10 run over the next five minutes with Brice Johnson scoring eight of his 20 points. Johnson also had 10 rebounds as the Tar Heels advanced to a regional final for the seventh time in Roy Williams’ 12 years as UNC’s head coach, but first time since 2012..
Indiana ends its season 27-8 and fails to advance from a Sweet 16 game for the second time in Yogi Ferrell’s career. Ferrell finished with 25 points.
The Hoosiers also got 21 points from Williams, 15 points from Max Bielfeldt and 12 from Thomas Bryant. But as a team, IU made just 41 percent (25 of 61) of its shots and 13 of 31 3-point attempts (41.9 percent).
Meanwhile, UNC shot a blistering 51.6 percent (32 of 62), including 11 of 20 from behind the arc. The Tar Heels also outrebounded the Hoosiers, 37-32.

This entry was posted in College Basketball, College Sports by Randy Beard. Bookmark the permalink.

About Randy Beard

Randy Beard has been at the Courier & Press since 2007 and became the sports editor in 2012. He has previously been a sports editor at the Anderson (S.C.) Independent-Mail and the Tallahassee (Fla.) Democrat. He began his professional sports journalist career in 1976 and has spent his career primarily covering college sports in the ACC, SEC and Big Ten. He's also covered the NFL, the original North American Soccer League and professional tennis and golf. He's covered two Super Bowls, three college football national championship games, dozens of NCAA basketball tournament games, an Olympics, a World Cup and once hung out with soccer legend George Best for two days and sat in a golf cart with Jan Stephenson.

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