Tudor: UNC to-do list against Kansas - WNCN: News, Weather

Tudor: UNC's to-do list against Kansas

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The 78-71 win over Villanova gave North Carolina head coach Roy Williams his 700th win. Photo by Jeff Reeves/WNCN The 78-71 win over Villanova gave North Carolina head coach Roy Williams his 700th win. Photo by Jeff Reeves/WNCN

North Carolina's to-do list entering Sunday's 5:15 p.m. NCAA South Regional game against top-seed Kansas (30-5) in Kansas City.

•Stay calm: Bad weather in the area no doubt will keep a few Kansas fans at home, but the Sprint Center will basically be Allen Fieldhouse II.

The Tar Heels (25-10, No. 8 seed) will have to keep their composure throughout but especially during the first several minutes.

Unlike most UNC teams, this one isn't great at staging comebacks in hostile buildings, so freshman playmaker Marcus Paige will need to steady his nerves and set the same example for his teammates.

Flip ‘em: The Jayhawks average almost 14 turnovers a game and in a conference (Big 12) where zone defenses are fairly popular.

In Friday's 64-57 win against 16th seed Western Kentucky (20-16), Kansas was forced into 17 turnovers, including four each by freshman winger Ben McLemore and senior forward Kevin Young.

If UNC's Paige, Dexter Strickland and Reggie Bullock can get into the passing lanes, Kansas should be vulnerable.

•Rebound: The short lineup almost took the Heels down in Friday's 78-71 win over Villanova.

James Michael McAdoo had only four rebounds in 35 minutes _ one more than teammate Jackson Simmons cleared in 11 minutes.

If Carolina can't at least hold its own at the defensive end, Kansas will have a huge advantage in offensive possessions.

•Free throws: The Heels could get to the line more than you might think given Kansas' size and the crowd advantage.

They missed eight of 27 against Villanova but the starters went 17-for-21, which was impressive.

•Probe: Obviously 3-point/perimeter shooting will again be Carolina's first priority, but finding McAdoo in the mid-post, lane area will be important.

Simmons, Desmond Hubert and Brice Johnson need to bang the offensive boards any time they're in the game just to keep the KU bigs at home.

•The pick: Kansas should win, of course, but the Jayhawks looked nervous throughout the game Friday and could have been stunned by a foe with just a little more shooting talent.

There are dozens of intangibles in the mix, starting with the Jayhawk win in last season's Midwest championship game at St. Louis. It's a hunch, but the pick here is UNC, 73-72.

 

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