Now that he's tasted a little success - and a lot of notoriety - he's likely to be faced with a much different situation than he's accustomed both in the days leading up to Saturday's national semifinal showdown against OR and in the game itself. The combination of all three should be enough to return Carolina to its second consecutive national championship game and give the program its sixth national title. If we don't beat freakin' OR, we're out there in an Uber trying to get our butts back to Chapel Hill.
As for that cell, Martin says, "it's been and unbelievable distraction for me this week, I can only imagine what it's been like for them". You're shaking your head 'yes, ' and you damn sure don't, OK? The Tar Heels know if they miss a shot there is still a good chance their teammate will get a rebound.
"Those kids, they're not afraid of the moment, and they really just rise to the occasion, all those clichés you want to use", North Carolina coach Roy Williams said. I worry most about the Zags path to the title game, assuming they get there. UNC defeated Kentucky, 75-73, in the South regional final after sophomore forward Luke Maye knocked down the go-ahead jumper with 0.3 seconds left to play.
On the court, though, Williams has kept the Tar Heels rolling. The Heels will look to dominate the Ducks on the glass.
OR head coach Dana Altman answers questions after a practice session for their NCAA Final Four tournament college basketball semifinal game Thursday, March 30, 2017, in Glendale, Ariz. OR had more trouble in the next two rounds, escaping Rhode Island in the Round of 32, 75-72, and outlasting MI, 69-68, in the Sweet 16. The Final Four isn't old hat to them. Felder is shooting a team-best 43 percent from 3-point range while averaging 5.7 points entering the Gonzaga game. "And fortunately for us Jordan Bell has really stepped up".
They looked primed for another run this season, then big man Chris Boucher went down with a torn-up knee in the Pac-12 tournament, and thoughts of OR repeating as a 1 seed went out the window.
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That effort was led by the trio of Tyler Dorsey, Dillon Brooks and Jordan Bell who all played very well in the big win. Then, dug deep into publically available, but hard to access data, on school scholarships and other financial aid to determine the absolute best deals in college education.
Most of the key players from last year's Tar Heels among them, Joel Berry II, Isaiah Hicks and Justin Jackson are back. The Ducks rank 16th in the nation in adjusted offensive efficiency (118.6) and 18th in adjusted defensive efficiency (93.7), per kenpom.com. And the transition couldn't come at a better time, with a Final Four matchup against OR on Saturday. Months later, Chris Boucher went down injured for the season. The Oregon Ducks have won nine of their last 10 neutral site games.
OR averages 36.4 rebounds per game while outrebounding six of seven opponents in the postseason.
The Gamecocks, a seven-point underdog, are 26-10 and beat teams seeded 2, 3, 4 and 10 to get here. He's also got a roster that has just one senior that plays a ton in Dylan Ennis. They're outrebounding NCAA Tournament opponents by nearly seven boards a game. He's also scoring at a ridiculous rate, shooting 67 percent from the field (34-of-51). That basketball coach had the right idea and had his priorities where they needed to be, which was in the classroom.
"Mark was an exceptional player, probably what we thought was the best player coming out (of high school) that year", Randy Walker, then North Carolina's offensive coordinator, told the Observer in 1982. The 'Heels defense has been its most underrated feature during this run with 44 total boards, 9 blocks and 7 steals in the win over Kentucky.
Sergio Rodriguez scored 16 for the Sixers, while Richaun Holmes finished with 11 points and 11 rebounds.