Tuesday, 22 January, 2019

Roy Williams happy North Carolina finally defended the three well

UNC coach has Tiger fever doesn't care who knows The North Carolina Tar Heels open their NCAA tournament on Friday but you wouldn't know it from a quick conversation with their head
Cary Erickson | 19 March, 2018, 00:28

The second-seeded Tar Heels meet seventh-seeded-Texas A&M on Sunday in the second round of the NCAA Tournament and Woods will be of no help to them. "Lipscomb was going to be ready for us, and they were going to be fired up because we're North Carolina".

The Bison came out pushing. It's going to be tough to guard them. Shots were falling early and often for Lipscomb. "I know I had to step up my play going into the post-season". They just weren't expecting it. The Aggies were able to string together enough defensive plays late to overcome their own frenetic offensive attack. UNC wasn't expecting it and before they knew it, the Bison were ahead 21-15.

Kenny Cooper scored the first basket in Lipscomb tournament history on a three from the right wing. Pepper grabbed four boards and scored five points in the first half.

The spread opened with North Carolina as a 5.5-point favorite. Pinson put his hands up as if to say, "Calm down", and then burst into laughter. The Cavalier just have that good of a defense.

Bench scoring was controlled by Lipscomb with 19 points off the bench compared to North Carolina's 15 points. He nearly recorded a triple-double.

Manley had six points and 10 rebounds, and Brooks added seven points. The bucket marked a season high in points for the Greensboro native, and he earned a few minutes in games here and there as the season went on.

North Carolina had the biggest lead in the game with an advantage of 23 at one point. Cooper hit two of the long balls. "Obviously, we'd like to see the ACC succeed, but what a story that is".

UNC took care of Lipscomb, who was making their tournament debut this year, with ease. They also blocked eight shots.

Aside from watching the actual top seed in the tournament go down, Carolina coach Roy Williams was surprised by how UMBC coach Ryan Odom went about his business. Pinson also grabbed 10 rebounds. All five starters were in double-digits. The Heels average 82 points in general and 78 on the road.

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Berry still struggled from behind-the-arc, but he found points on the dribble drive. Senior guard Cameron Johnson was specifically listed as a victim.

During Saturday's media session inside A&M's small locker room, the players fielded question after question about facing a team like North Carolina, one of the nation's most historic and successful programs. The Bison shot just under 36 percent from the field. Pinson held Mathews to eight points on three-for-14 shooting.

So this was expected. We knew we were beating ourselves.

One UNC player to watch...

... It even got Roy Williams pretty hyper.

The entire starting lineup of Lipscomb's first-ever NCAA Tournament team is returning to the team next year-four will be seniors, including Nathan Moran, who will return from injury after starting for three years and missing this entire season.

Texas A&M coach Billy Kennedy's NCAA tournament record is now 4-3 - compiled at schools, including Southeastern Louisiana and Murray State.

While the two Aggies bigs get much of the attention, they are a balanced scoring team.

UNC can play down to its competition at times, but I think their talent level is just too great for the Aggies to compete with.