Roy Williams happy North Carolina finally defended the three well

by Leon Thompson March 19, 2018, 4:07
Roy Williams happy North Carolina finally defended the three well

And yet, the reigning national champions will be challenged to rely on a traditional strength in a second-round game Sunday against Texas A&M in the NCAA Tournament's West Region.

Instead - after a heartbreaking title-game loss to Villanova in 2016 followed by last year's title win against Gonzaga - the Tar Heels found themselves eliminated on the tournament's opening weekend for the first time since 2014.

Duke's men team (2-seed) made the Sweet 16, the women (5-seed) play 4-seed Georgia on Monday. The senior duo had hoped to end their time with North Carolina with back-to-back championships, but Texas A&M was far and away the better team as the Tar Heels season came to a premature end.

Thanks to the Selection Show the Tar Heels get to play "at home" for their first round game.

Can No. 2 North Carolina roll to another big win when it takes on No. 7 Texas A&M today in the NCAA Tournament? The Tar Heels will attempt to offset the Aggies' size and strength with their speed and perimeter shooting. "And so we've got to try to do it at a higher level now than anybody else that we've played".

Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy's NCAA tournament record is now 4-3 - compiled at schools, including Southeastern Louisiana and Murray State. The Tar Heels lost at home to Wofford and were, due in part to tiebreakers, a mere sixth seed in the ACC tournament.

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"I was so excited this week to play this game", Williams said.

Robert Williams had 13 rebounds and Davis finished with 9. It was an all-around team victory, with just about every player passing the Aggies' toughest test of the tournament with flying colors. The Bison played very nice in the first half and UNC was a little sloppy. "We really wanted them to not shoot a good percentage from the 3-point line". He's missed a number of shots from close range and turned the ball over 12 times in his last five games. The biggest comeback was perpetrated by Texas A&M against Penn past year. "Head coach Roy Williams called the Aggies "maybe the biggest team I've ever looked at" Saturday, and they have four players in their rotation at 6'8" or taller, including three starters. Fouled Out-None. Rebounds-Texas A&M 47 (R.Williams 13), North Carolina 36 (Maye 11). They ranked third in the nation in offensive boards.

Defensively, the Tar Heels held Lipscomb 17 points below its season average and limited the Bisons' star guard, Garrison Mathews, to just eight points on 3-for-14 shooting from the field.

Manley had 10 of the rebounds by himself in just 10 minutes of action.

When Williams dropped in a three on the next possession, the majority-Carolina crowd erupted, and UNC seemed poised to make a run to put the game out of reach. "He does it because he cares; he knows my potential, knows what I can do for this team and knows what I need to do for this team".

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