The North Carolina Tar Heels advanced to an NCAA Tournament record 28th sweet 16th appearance with a convincing 81 to 59 victory of the University of Washington Huskies Sunday after in Columbus Ohio. The No. 9 seeded Huskies gave the No.1 ranked Heels everything they had but it was not enough to overcome a determined and disciplined Carolina team.
Luke Maye and Nassir Little each scored 20 points to lead Carolina who outrebounded the Huskies 48 to 24. The Carolina made 9 of 31 three-point attempts for a 42.% game percentage compared to the Huskies who were 9-29 for 31% . Going into the game the prime directives for the Huskies were to outrebound the Heels and shut down their three ball accuracy.
The Huskies pregame plan was successful in the first half but a 13-0 run to start the second half blew the game wide open. For Huskies head coach Mike Hopkins the loss to the Tarheels was a lesson learned for his team which never gave up.
“When you play Carolina it’s an opportunity, we got down in the first half and we kept fighting, showed a lot of resiliency, brought the lead down to eight, missed a couple of shot at the end, ” said Hopkins during his post-game interview. ” They are a really good and big team. It seems everytime they missed a shot they got the rebound. You are not going to win to many games being ourrebounded by 24. Our kids battled, they fought like the champions they are unfortunately we ran into a tough Carolina team tonight.”
Jaylen Nowell scored 12 points to pace the Huskies.
Washington: The Huskies have come a long way after going 9-22 two years ago before longtime Syracuse assistant Mike Hopkins took over. They beat No. 9 seed Utah State in the first round but were never seriously in the game against North Carolina.
North Carolina: The Tar Heels rolled to a 41-33 lead at halftime behind the 3-point shooting of freshman Coby White — he 4 for 5 from beyond the arc in the half — and kept the pressure on.
North Carolina moves into the Sweet 16 in Kansas City, Missouri.