Alex Conway & John Gwaltney Jr
North Carolina strolls into the NCAA Tournament after nearly
capturing the ACC Tournament title in Greensboro last week.
Despite the obvious disappointment of those efforts not
yielding a more prosperous seeding in the NCAA's March Madness
field, the Tar Heels will come ready to play if UNC Head Coach
Roy Williams has anything to do with it.
"We were a little disappointed. We thought we would be better
than that. But the bottom line is, it is what it is. We've got to go
play," said Williams.
And with that, they shall play.
Villianova at a glance
Pennsylvania Nickname: Wildcats Colors: Blue &
White Conference: Big East Arena: The Pavilion
(6,500) & Wells Fargo Center (20,056) 2011-2012 Record: 13-19
(5-13) Last Game: L 74-55 vs.
Louisville on Mar 14, 2013 in New York, NY Last Game vs. UNC: L 83-69
on Apr 4, 2009 in Detroit, Mich. More on the Wildcats: Schedule
| Stats |
| Rivals Site
UNC has played Villanova five times in the NCAA Tournament and
are 4-1 against the Wildcats.
The last time these two met was in the 2009 Final Four match-up
that UNC won, ultimately propelling the Tar Heels to a national
The lone loss on UNC's leger against 'Nova came in 1985, the year
Villanova won the national title.
With this being a battle between the No. 8 seed and No. 9 seed,
very few people are predicting the winner of this year's national
title will come out of this game.
But history might predict otherwise. Sixty percent of the
time, when these teams meet in the big dance, the winner goes on to
hoist the championship at the end of it all.
Don't Look Ahead
Villanova has knocked off some stiff competition this year.
With wins over Syracuse, Louisville and Georgetown, it would be
foolish for Williams to allow his club to look past the Wildcats,
something he will assuredly not do.
That doesn't mean others won't look ahead to a potential clash
with Williams old team, the No. 1 seeded Kansas Jayhawks.
I really haven't. We've been a little busy trying to win a game.
For me, University of Kansas and Lawrence was a great 15 years of my
life," said Williams. "I've said it this way before: I gave my
heart, body, and soul for 15 years, and I loved it."
Williams has done a masterful job pushing buttons with his young
squad this season. He's admitted a few times that this has
been one of his biggest career challenges.
Rock Chalk one more challenge for Williams to attempt to conquer if
the Heels want to advance to weekend number two.
P.J. Hairston's story is well-documented.
He got inserted into the starting line-up and all of a sudden UNC
played like a completely different team.
Hairston had a near-career high against Miami in the ACC
Championship game, tallying 28 points while battling through a nasty
Hairston is dangerously close to overtaking James Michael
McAdoo in the scoring per game lead for the team this season.
But no matter what the stats say, it's abundantly clear that
Hairston is the best offensive option UNC has.
More than just his offense, Williams has newfound respect for
Hairston's toughness after seeing him gut it out in Greensboro.
"Not just the way he played but the toughness he showed. He's
always been a guy we've worried about how quickly he was going to
bounce back. I was in the room when the trainer was sowing his hand
back up and I mean there was blood everywhere," said Williams. "But
to handle that kind of injury and even in Saturday's game when he
was three-for-10 he did some good things for us. I loved his
toughness and I think that's going to help him take another step
forward throughout his career."
UNC will look for Hairston to continue his scoring ways into the