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March 24, 2012

THI Newsstand: March 25

Kansas considers how to deal with UNC, with or without Marshall - Charlotte Observer
If Bill Self is a little gun-shy when it comes to broken scaphoid bones among Roy Williams' players, it's hard to blame him. In 2001, Kansas forward Drew Gooden broke the scaphoid bone in his right wrist late in the season and missed five games, but he returned in time for the Big 12 tournament - and played against Self's Illinois team in the NCAA's Round of 16. (Illinois won.) So as far as Self is concerned, he expects North Carolina's Kendall Marshall, who has the same injury, to play today against his Kansas team.

Crothers: Roy Williams can't forget his last game against Kansas - Charlotte Observer
The last time UNC coach Roy Williams faced his former employer, the Kansas Jayhawks, he called it "one of the worst nights of my career." That matchup occurred in the 2008 NCAA Tournament semifinals and when I spoke to him about it more than a year later during the research for Williams' autobiography "Hard Work," he could still recall in detail almost every play from that game.

UNC vs. Kansas: Who has the edge? - Charlotte Observer
A breakdown of Sunday's Midwest Region Final between the Tar Heels and Jayhawks.

Big Kansas blocker shines in spotlight - Charlotte Observer
Jeff Withey was gassed, heaving and huffing as he jogged down court midway through the second half on Friday night. He looked toward the bench, tugging his jersey as junior Kevin Young prepared to enter the game. Finally, rest. Only Young wasn't coming for him. He was checking in to give Thomas Robinson a quick blow, and Withey would have to wait a few more possessions for his breather.

UNC's Final Four berth might be up to Harrison Barnes - Charlotte Observer
Whether Harrison Barnes returns to North Carolina for the 2012-13 basketball season or leaves for the NBA probably won't be known for a while. "I've given that no thought. No thought at all," he said Saturday. The sophomore forward and former No.1 high school prospect is projected as a high first-round pro pick by almost all of the talent analysts, so obviously he will have the NBA as an option. But thanks in part to his five-point overtime scoring performance, Barnes' second college season didn't end in a complete NCAA Midwest flameout Friday against Ohio.

UNC's Kendall Marshall had big assist from bench - Charlotte Observer
Ever since he became North Carolina's starting point guard midway through his freshman season at North Carolina, Kendall Marshall's role has been defined, clear and easy for him to grasp. He has been the facilitator, the fuel for the Tar Heels' powerful offense, and he has been a leader, too. During North Carolina's 73-65 victory against Ohio on Friday night, though, Marshall became something different: a coach. A cheerleader. A supporter. After suffering a broken wrist seven days ago, he might be relegated to the same roles today when top-seeded North Carolina plays against No. 2 Kansas in the NCAA tournament Midwest regional final.

Roy Williams has mended fences in Kansas, but this game is still special - Charlotte Observer
In May, when his old friend and golf pro opened a new course about an hour from Lawrence, Roy Williams went back to Kansas. For Randy Towner, Williams would stand among the Kansas fans who once revered his name, then spat it as an epithet when he broke his promise to spend the rest of his career there, a pledge made when he spurned North Carolina's first advances toward him.

Williams, Heels can't forget about Jayhawks - Durham Herald-Sun
The North Carolina locker room hasn't had a celebratory feel after its last two NCAA Tournament victories. The Round of 32 win in Greensboro was tainted by news of Kendall Marshall's broken wrist, and there was more relief than happiness after Friday's Sweet 16 overtime win against Ohio.

UNC Notes: Barnes ready to bounce back - ESPN.com
The worry over Kendall Marshall's wrist continues. The concern over Harrison Barnes' shot does not. Although top-seeded North Carolina doesn't know if its starting point guard will miss his second straight game Sunday because of a fractured right wrist, the team is confident that its starting small forward -- who made only 3 of 16 shots Friday, with Marshall out -- will play well.

Tar Heels coach Roy Williams faces familiar storyline - Fayetteville Observer
Roy Williams kept his calm, occasionally fingering a microphone cord that stretched across the dais or readjusting the small paper sign in front of him that listed him as North Carolina's coach. During Saturday's news conference leading up to today's regional final, Williams took question after question - 11 total - that touched in one way or another on his 15-year tenure at Kansas.

Schramm: UNC comes to grips with role as underdog - Fayetteville Observer
When things were going haywire against Ohio on Friday night, North Carolina forward Harrison Barnes said the Tar Heels got testy. Huddles were full of expletives. Conversation between teammates became heated. The concept of a much-too-soon flight home was looking very real and it had nerves fraying. But the Tar Heels survived, pulling out a 73-65 victory in overtime, allowing them to hang around the NCAA tournament for at least one more game. The reward was a date with Kansas (30-6) in this afternoon's regional final.

NCAA tournament: UNC Game Day vs. Kansas - Fayetteville Observer
A closer look at UNC's Elite Eight opponent, three keys for the Tar Heels and more.

UNC's Williams praises 'perfect' forward Zeller - Fox Sports Midwest
On Saturday afternoon, Roy Williams offered praise for North Carolina senior forward Tyler Zeller with a condition. There are certain things a coach won't say with a player close by. There are certain things a coach won't say because the compliment is so strong that it could do more harm than good. But Williams wasn't worried about hurting Zeller the day before top-seeded North Carolina plays second-seeded Kansas for a chance to go to the Final Four. No, Williams spoke in a large conference room in one area of the Edward Jones Dome, and Zeller fielded questions about facing the Jayhawks' size in another. A short distance separated the two, and Williams felt comfortable enough to speak.

Tar Heels' Barnes faces up to high expectations - Kansas City Star
He has learned to deal with the criticism. That's what he says, at least. Harrison Barnes is a 6-foot-8 sophomore forward, a former mega-recruit from Ames High School in Iowa, and a player voted preseason All-America before he ever stepped on the floor at North Carolina. He has a silky jumper, a sculpted frame, and when he's not delivering polished answers about No. 1 seed North Carolina, he's talking up the virtues of the business school in Chapel Hill. And maybe all this just leaves people wanting more.

Heels' Jerod Haase seeks 'opportunity' - KU Sports
Former Kansas University guard/current North Carolina assistant basketball coach Jerod Haase, who turns 38 on April 1, does indeed want to be a head coach some day. He has a stellar assistant coaching résumé, having earned two national title rings on Roy Williams' staff at North Carolina, with a spot in the Elite Eight on tap Sunday. "When the opportunity is right," said Haase, who was assigned to scout the KU-North Carolina State game Friday following his own team's 73-65 overtime victory over Ohio.

Lucas: No Time To Celebrate - Tar Heel Blue
Given how much Roy Williams has talked about the similarities between the basketball programs at Kansas and North Carolina, it shouldn't be too surprising that Jayhawks head coach Bill Self perfectly summed up the attitude at both places in nine words. "At both Kansas and Carolina," Self said during Saturday's media availability in advance of Sunday's regional final, "winning is a relief and losing is a disaster."

UNC needs its Black Falcon to soar to get to the Final Four - Wilmington Star-News
Make no mistake, North Carolina's chances of beating Kansas and advancing to the Final Four are greatly enhanced if sophomore Kendall Marshall and his fractured right wrist are able to play in Sunday's NCAA Midwest Region final. But this much is just as true: It doesn't really matter who plays point guard for the top-seeded Tar Heels if All-America forward Harrison Barnes doesn't show up at the Edward Jones Dome ready to play against the Jayhawks.




 

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