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Top-seeded Tar Heels face LSU Tigers with Sweet 16 berth on the line

Posted Saturday, March 21, 2009

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Greesnboro, NC - Atlantic Coast Conference regular season champion North Carolina (29-4), the No. 1 seed in the South Regional, will try to advance to the NCAA Tournament’s Sweet 16 for an NCAA-record 23rd time when it faces Louisiana State (27-7) on Saturday evening at the Greensboro Coliseum.

Carolina, the third overall seed in the tournament, will face eighth-seeded LSU at 5:45 p.m. in the NCAA second round in a CBS-televised contest. The Tar Heels advanced to Saturday’s game with a 101-58 victory over 16th-seeded Radford in Thursday’s first round game. LSU beat ninth-seeded Butler, 75-71, earlier on Thursday in Greensboro.

Carolina is 4-0 in its third NCAA Tournament appearance in Greensboro and 26-1 all-time in NCAA Tournament games played in the state of North Carolina. The Tar Heels have won 22 consecutive NCAA Tournament games played in their home state.

UNC was ranked No. 2 in the Associated Press poll and No. 3 in the ESPN/USA Today coaches poll at the close of the regular season. LSU was No. 21 and No. 20, respectively, in the same polls.

The Tar Heels reached Saturday’s game despite playing for the third consecutive contest without the services of ACC Player of the Year Ty Lawson. The junior point guard injured his right big toe on March 6 and played in the regular season finale win against Duke two days later but has missed the last three contests due to lingering pain in the toe. Lawson’s status for Saturday is questionable.

HANSBROUGH BREAKS ACC SCORING RECORD

* Senior Tyler Hansbrough became Carolina’s career scoring leader on Dec. 18, 2008, versus Evansville when he passed Phil Ford (2,290 points) in the record books. Hansbrough’s
march up the ACC scoring charts continues, however.

* Hansbrough scored 22 points on Thursday versus Radford. With the first of two free throws with 15:43 left in the first half, Hansbrough scored his third point of the game and broke the Atlantic Coast Conference’s career scoring record.

* Hansbrough enters the LSU game with 2,789 career points. The previous record of 2,769 was held by Duke’s JJ Redick.

NCAA-RECORD 20 STRAIGHT YEARS WITH AN NCAA WIN FOR WILLIAMS

* When Carolina beat Radford in the first round of the 2009 NCAA Tournament in Greensboro, N.C., Roy Williams became the only coach in the nation to win at least one NCAA Tournament game in each of the last 20 seasons.

* The 20 consecutive years with at least one NCAA Tournament victory is an NCAA record. Former UNC coach Dean Smith is second with 17.

TAR HEELS SEEKING 23RD SWEET 16 BERTH

* A win on Saturday would send the Tar Heels to the NCAA East Regional semifinal against the winner of the game between No. 4 seed Gonzaga and No. 12 seed Western Kentucky. That game would be played next Friday in Memphis at the Fed Ex Forum. u Carolina has advanced to the Sweet Sixteen 22 times (NCAA Sweet 16 records begin in 1975, the first year a team had to win at least one game to reach the regional semifinals). The Tar Heels’ 23 Sweet 16 appearances are the most in NCAA history. Kentucky is second with 20 and Duke has 20.

* Overall, UNC has appeared in the regional semifinals 29 times (including years prior to 1975).

* Carolina is 20-8 in NCAA Tournament second round games since 1978, when the Tournament expanded from 32 to 40 teams.

* UNC has reached the Sweet 16 20 times in its last 26 NCAA Tournament appearances (entering Saturday’s game). The years in which UNC made the NCAA field but did not reach the
Sweet 16 were 1994 (lost to Boston College in the second round), 1996 (lost to Texas Tech in the second round), 1999 (lost to Weber State in the first round), 2001 (lost to Penn State in the second round), 2004 (lost to Texas in the second round) and 2006 (lost to George Mason in the second round).

* Roy Williams has taken 12 teams to the Sweet 16 in 19 previous NCAA Tournament appearances (prior to the 2009 Tournament).

UNC ONE TOURNAMENT WIN AWAY FROM TYING NCAA RECORD

* Carolina’s victory over Radford in Thursday’s first-round game was its 97th all-time NCAA Tournament win.

* With a win on Saturday against LSU, the Tar Heels will tie the NCAA record for most NCAA Tournament wins. Kentucky has the current record of 98 wins.

* UNC is 97-39 in its 136 NCAA Tournament games.

HANSBROUGH NEEDS ONE DOUBLE-FIGURE SCORING GAME FOR ACC RECORD

* Tyler Hansbrough scored 22 points in Thursday’s victory over Radford, recording his 129th career double-figure scoring game. That ties the ACC record set by Duke’s Johnny
Dawkins. With one more double-figure game, Hansbrough will be the ACC’s career leader.

* The 22-point effort was the seventh time in 12 NCAA Tournament games Hansbrough has scored 20 or more points.

* He extended his ACC record of career 20-point games to 77.

THE SERIES VS. LSU

u Saturday’s game will mark the first NCAA
Tournament meeting between Carolina and
LSU.
u The Tar Heels are 9-2 against LSU alltime.
u Carolina and LSU last met on Dec. 18,
1996, in the Greensboro Coliseum. The 67-48
season of both UNC’s Dean Smith and LSU’s
Dale Brown.
LAWSON MISSES RADFORD GAME
u Carolina point guard Ty Lawson, who injured
his right big toe in practice on March 6
(two days prior to the regular season finale win
over Duke), missed his third consecutive game
on Thursday when Carolina beat Radford.
u Lawson played in the March 8 win over
Duke that clinched the ACC regular season
championship for Carolina but missed both ACC
Tournament games last weekend in Atlanta.
u Lawson’s status for Saturday’s NCAA second
round game is questionable.
UNC’S NCAA TOURNAMENT
HISTORY IN GREENSBORO
u Carolina is 4-0 in three NCAA Tournament
appearances in Greensboro (1983, 1998
and 2009).
u The Tar Heels this season are making their
first NCAA Tournament appearance in Greensboro
since Antawn Jamison and Vince Carter
led Carolina here in 1998.
u UNC advanced to the Final Four in 1998
after playing NCAA Tournament regional semifinal
and championship games in Greensboro.
u Carolina’s NCAA history in the Greensboro
Coliseum:
• #2 seed UNC 68, #10 seed James
Madison 49 (1983 East Regional second round)
• #1 seed UNC 73, #4 seed Michigan
State 58 (1998 East Regional semifinal)
• #1 seed UNC 75, #2 seed Connecticut
64 (1998 East Regional final)
• #1 seed UNC 101, #16 seed Radford
58 (2009 South Regional first round)
CAROLINA’S NCAA TOURNAMENT
HISTORY IN N.C.
u Carolina is 26-1 in NCAA Tournament
games played in the state of North Carolina.
That includes a 9-0 record in Charlotte, 4-0 in
Greensboro, 7-1 in Raleigh and 6-0 in Winston-
Salem.
u Carolina has won 22 consecutive NCAA
Tournament games in the state of North Carolina,
last losing on March 11, 1979, to Penn in
Raleigh.
u Five of the last six times that UNC’s
NCAA tournament road has included a stop in
the state of North Carolina, the Tar Heels have
advanced to at least the Final Four (2008, 2005,
1998, 1997, 1993). The exception was in 2007,
when Carolina played in Winston-Salem but
lost in the Elite Eight to Georgetown.
u Carolina’s last three national championship
runs have started with first-round games
in North Carolina (2005 in Charlotte, 1993 in
Winston-Salem and 1982 in Charlote).

CAROLINA’S NCAA TOURNAMENT HISTORY

* Carolina is playing in the NCAA Tournament
for the 41st time, tied for second in NCAA
history for most appearances by a program.
Kentucky’s 49 appearances rank No. 1, followed
by Carolina and UCLA’s 41.

* UNC has reached 17 Final Fours, including
at least one in each of the last seven decades.
The 17 Final Four appearances are tied with
UCLA as the most in NCAA history.

* Carolina has appeared in 136 NCAA
Tournament games. Only Kentucky (142) has
played in more.

* Carolina has a 97-39 NCAA Tournament
record. That is the second-most wins, second-
Tar Heel win came early in the final coaching
most games and fourth-highest winning percentage
(71.3) in NCAA Tournament history.

* The Tar Heels are 97-39 in NCAA Tournament
games. Kentucky is first all-time in
NCAA wins with 98, Carolina is second with
97, UCLA is third with 94, Duke is fourth with
87 and Kansas is fifth with 82 (prior to its game
on Friday).

* Carolina has advanced to the Sweet Sixteen
22 times since NCAA Sweet 16 records
began in 1975, the first year a team had to win at
least one game to reach the regional semifinals.
The Tar Heels’ 22 Sweet 16 appearances are
the most in NCAA history. Kentucky is second
with 20 and Duke has 19.

* UNC has reached the Sweet 16 20 times in
its last 26 NCAA Tournament appearances. The
years in which UNC made the NCAA field but
did not reach the Sweet 16 were 1994 (lost to
Boston College in the second round), 1996 (lost
to Texas Tech in the second round), 1999 (lost
to Weber State in the first round), 2001 (lost to
Penn State in the second round), 2004 (lost to
Texas in the second round) and 2006 (lost to
George Mason in the second round).

* Overall, UNC has appeared in the regional
semifinals 28 times (including years prior to
1975).

* Carolina made 27 consecutive trips to the
NCAA Tournament from 1975-2001. That is
the longest streak in NCAA history. Kansas's
20 straight trips (active) is the second-longest
streak in NCAA annals.

* The Tar Heels have won at least one game in 26 of their last 27 NCAA Tournament appearances (Carolina lost in the first round in 1999 to Weber State).

 
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Top-seeded Tar Heels face LSU Tigers with Sweet 16 berth on the line
The Tar Heels reached Saturday’s game despite playing for the third consecutive contest without the services of ACC Player of the Year Ty Lawson.
photo by Gene Galin
 
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