NEW YORK (AP) — Luke Kennard scored 27 points, Reggie Jackson had 21 and Andre Drummond added 20 points and 18 rebounds as the Detroit Pistons locked up the Eastern Conference's final playoff spot...
Maye helps No. 9 UNC beat Northern Iowa 86-69 in opener
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Luke Maye knocked down outside jumpers, hit the glass and scored inside — even throwing in a nifty spin move on a post bucket — for the best scoring performance of his career.
Ninth-ranked North Carolina needs this version of Maye, too.
The 6-foot-8 junior had 26 points and 10 rebounds to help the Tar Heels beat Northern Iowa 86-69 in Friday night's season opener, a fast start for a one-time reserve now thrust into a leading role for the reigning national champions.
North Carolina preview capsule
Last season: 33-7, won program's sixth NCAA championship.
Nickname: Tar Heels.
Coach: Roy Williams.
Conference: Atlantic Coast.
Who's gone: SF Justin Jackson, F/C Kennedy Meeks, F Isaiah Hicks, F Tony Bradley Jr., G Nate Britt.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina has signed 6-foot-10 forward Garrison Brooks as a late recruiting addition to bolster a depleted frontcourt.
The Tar Heels announced Brooks' signing Monday. The Lafayette, Alabama product and four-star prospect had originally signed with Mississippi State but received a release last month to reopen his recruitment.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina coach Roy Williams didn't have to struggle for words this time, not after the Tar Heels made good on their season-long drive to win the national championship that slipped away last year.
"The most fun as a coach is seeing the looks on your guys' faces when they accomplish something very difficult," Williams told thousands of fans who greeted the Tar Heels when they returned to campus Tuesday with the program's sixth NCAA championship.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. — North Carolina dedicated the past year to redeeming itself for 4.7 agonizing seconds.
Now these Tar Heels will hang another banner from the Smith Center rafters.
No longer haunted by the memory of a buzzer-beating loss in last year’s title game, the Tar Heels returned home yesterday with their sixth NCAA tournament trophy, which they earned a night earlier by beating Gonzaga in the championship game.
“This year,” senior Isaiah Hicks said, “we did it.”
GLENDALE, Ariz. — So many of them touched the ball in the final seconds, Justin Jackson dunking, Joel Berry stealing the pass, Kennedy Meeks blocking a shot, Isaiah Hicks with the biggest basket of his career on the final basket of his career, Theo Pinson hurling the ball into the air as time expired.
It was like everyone had to get a piece of it, the redemption they sought for so long, finally at hand. North Carolina would not be denied this time, not by a buzzer-beater, not by anyone.
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina dedicated the past year to redeeming itself for 4.7 agonizing seconds.
Now these Tar Heels will hang another banner from the Smith Center rafters.
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The 2016-17 season is over, with North Carolina holding off Gonzaga to win the national championship for the program's sixth NCAA title.
The win for the Tar Heels wrapped up the season's biggest story line: How North Carolina would bounce back from a buzzer-beating loss in last year's finale.
Let's take an early look at some of the threads to watch leading into next season. March Madness set up preludes to next season for numerous programs, players and coaches:
Some things to watch in the NCAA championship game
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — Some things to watch for in Monday night's NCAA championship game:
IN THE MIDDLE
Both teams have size in the middle and quality depth at the position.
Gonzaga's 7-foot-1, 300-pound Przemek Karnowski will go at North Carolina's 6-10, 260-pound Kennedy Meeks.
GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — His shots aren't falling in the NCAA Tournament, neither from the paint nor from the foul line. His rebounds are down. And North Carolina's Isaiah Hicks just hasn't looked much like the reliable every-game senior starter he's been all year.
The Tar Heels can't afford that to continue into the final night of the season, not if they want to beat Gonzaga in Monday's national championship game and win the title that slipped away a year earlier.
One of Gonzaga’s built-in advantages most of the season will be challenged by North Carolina in the championship game.
The Zags operate inside out with a versatile collection of bigs in Przemek Karnowski, Johnathan Williams, Zach Collins and Killian Tillie. The Tar Heels are a mirror image with 6-foot-10 Kennedy Meeks, 6-9 Isaiah Hicks, 6-8 Justin Jackson and sizable options off the bench.
Starters: Theo Pinson – guard, Joel Berry II – guard, Kennedy Meeks – forward, Isaiah Hicks - forward, Justin Jackson - forward
FINAL: UNC 92, Butler 80: Luke Maye recorded his first career double-double, Joel Berry scored a game-high 26 points Friday and No. 1 seed UNC beat No. 4 Butler 92-80 to advance to the Elite Eight.
The Tar Heels will take on the winner of No. 3 UCLA and No. 2 Kentucky Sunday in Memphis.
3:57 2nd: UNC 83, Butler 68: The Tar Heels lead is 15 at the final media break. Justin Jackson is at 24 points and 5 rebounds. Joel Berry has 20.
FINAL: UNC 72, Arkansas 65
Bing Predicts winner: North Carolina (82 percent)Region: SouthLocation: Greenville, South CarolinaOpening line: UNC -25Tipoff time: 4:00 p.m. EST (Friday)North Carolina leads the country in rebounding margin at plus-12.7 per game. The gap between the Tar Heels and the next-best team (Saint Mary's) is a whopping 3.4 rebounds per game. Kennedy Meeks and Isaiah Hicks should be able to do whatever they want against Texas Southern's undersized frontline.
The first half of Thursday's ACC Tournament Quarterfinal day displayed the two remaining North Carolina teams at their very best.
Duke and North Carolina both beat teams they played just once and lost to during the regular season to stay alive in Brooklyn.
Now, after Roy Williams beat Miami 78-53 and Mike Krzyzewski's team topped Louisville 81-77, UNC and Duke meet for the third time in a season for the first time since 2011 in the tournament.
NEW YORK (AP) — Theo Pinson tried an alley-oop pass that went directly into the basket for a surprise 3-pointer, and the befuddled look on his face was priceless.
One way or another, just about everything went right for No. 6 North Carolina in its postseason debut Thursday.
FINAL. Miami: 53, North Carolina: 78.
Isaiah Hicks scored 19 points for North Carolina as the top-seeded Tar Heels beat Miami 78-53 to advance to Friday's first semifinal. Justin Jackson, Joel Berry and Kennedy Meeks also scored in double digits for UNC in the win.
NEW YORK (AP) — Isaiah Hicks had 19 points and No. 6 North Carolina certainly looked like a national championship contender in its postseason debut, beating Miami 78-53 on Thursday in the quarterfinals of the Atlantic Coast Conference Tournament.
The top-seeded Tar Heels (27-6) got 12 points from ACC player of the year Justin Jackson and held the smaller Hurricanes to 36 percent shooting, setting up a semifinal Friday night against archrival Duke or No. 8 Louisville.
As is customary, North Carolina and Duke will close out the ACC regular season against each other Saturday.
While No. 5 UNC has already clinched the top seed in the ACC Tournament, the Tar Heels are still looking to claim the regular season title outright.
Meanwhile, No. 17 Duke is still looking for the double bye in the conference tournament in Brooklyn and hopes to sweep the season series from UNC.
No. 10 UNC gets Hicks back for NC State; Williams sidelined
RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina senior forward Isaiah Hicks will start Wednesday night's game at rival North Carolina State after battling a hamstring issue, but the Tar Heels won't have sophomore starter Kenny Williams III due to a knee injury.
Hicks missed last week's loss at Duke and was considered a gametime decision, but he went through pregame warmups and was listed on the pregame list of starters.
Hicks, Williams facing injuries for No. 10 Tar Heels
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Tenth-ranked North Carolina is uncertain whether forward Isaiah Hicks or guard Kenny Williams III will be ready for Wednesday night's game at rival North Carolina State due to injuries.
Hicks, a senior starter, missed last week's loss at Duke due to a hamstring injury. The school said Tuesday that Hicks went through practice in the afternoon and is a game-time decision.
Hicks out, Pinson returns for No. 8 UNC vs. No. 18 Duke
DURHAM, N.C. (AP) — Eighth-ranked North Carolina won't have forward Isaiah Hicks but will have swingman Theo Pinson back from injury for Thursday night's rivalry game at No. 18 Duke.
The team said on its official Twitter account 90 minutes before tipoff that Hicks would miss the game after straining his left hamstring during practice Wednesday.
Hicks is the Tar Heels' third-leading scorer, averaging 12.8 points, while also grabbing 5.6 rebounds per game.
No. 12 UNC holds on to beat Pitt, 80-78
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — No. 12 North Carolina found itself in an unexpected fight down the stretch against the Atlantic Coast Conference's last-place team.
Coach Roy Williams and the Tar Heels didn't panic. Instead they embraced the situation, and it led to a gritty victory that might not impress very many people beyond their locker room.
North Carolina held on to beat Pittsburgh 80-78 on Tuesday night behind 20 points from Justin Jackson.
No. 9 UNC tops Syracuse 85-68 for Williams’ 800th career win
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina coach Roy Williams stood at midcourt, looking to the Smith Center rafters to watch video messages from former players congratulating him on his 800th win.
The Hall of Famer didn't wait very long before turning his attention back to the present.
"It's a special moment, but you know what I really love?" Williams asked the crowd as he pointed to his current players. "No. 17, for this team."
No. 11 North Carolina's 96-83 win against No. 9 Florida State was everything a Top 15 matchup should be. There were five ties and five lead changes between the Noles (16-2, 4-1 ACC) and Heels (16-3, 4-1 ACC) before Roy William's home team handed Leonard Hamilton's its first conference loss of the season and ended FSU's longest winning streak ever after 12 straight wins.
But before UNC put the game away with an 8-0 run late in the second, it was never a double-digit game.
No. 11 North Carolina beats No. 9 Florida State 96-83
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — North Carolina kept shifting in and out of small lineups, driving to the rim and heading to the boards on every shot.
Being down a big man and facing a highly ranked opponent with more size didn't deter the 11th-ranked Tar Heels, either.
"That's our knack really," junior swingman Theo Pinson said, "just go out there and compete."
Jackson leads No. 9 UNC past Monmouth, 102-74
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Justin Jackson is clicking just in time for No. 9 North Carolina to start conference play.
Jackson scored 28 points to lead the Tar Heels past Monmouth 102-74 on Wednesday night.
"Just seeing him come out like that is, like, 'Wow,'" teammate Isaiah Hicks said. "We're kind of like, 'All right, Justin, what are you going to do?'"
Meeks leads No. 8 UNC past Northern Iowa, 85-42
CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) — Once Kennedy Meeks got going for No. 8 North Carolina, nothing could stop him. Northern Iowa certainly couldn't.
Meeks scored 10 of his 18 points during the Tar Heels' dominant second half, leading them past the Panthers 85-42 on Wednesday night.
"He was the difference in the game," Hall of Fame coach Roy Williams said.
Justin Jackson added 12 points while Joel Berry II and Isaiah Hicks finished with 11 apiece for the Tar Heels (11-2).
No. 5 North Carolina pulls away for 83-68 win over Hawaii
HONOLULU (AP) — North Carolina coach Roy Williams did not mince words after his fifth-ranked Tar Heels struggled in the first half before pulling out their latest win.
Isaiah Hicks scored 10 of his 16 points after halftime to lead five players in double-figures as North Carolina (4-0) beat Hawaii 83-68 Friday night.
"It's one of the ugliest games I've ever coached in my entire life," Williams said, "but we made some shots during a stretch in the second half that gave us the lead."