Greensboro, NC (Sports Network) - One of the most decorated programs in NCAA Tournament history begins its quest for another national title, as the North Carolina Tar Heels meet the Vermont Catamounts in second-round action of the Midwest Regional in Greensboro.
The Tar Heels are a number-one seed for an NCAA record 14th time. Roy Williams' squad is an impressive 29-5 on the season and won the ACC regular- season crown. The team's attempt at a clean sweep in the ACC fell short in the conference tournament title game, with an 85-82 loss to Florida State. The loss ended a nine-game win streak for the Tar Heels, but did not prevent the team from getting a number-one seed. UNC is an impressive 105-40 in NCAA Tournament play heading into this, its 43rd appearance. North Carolina has five national titles (tied with Indiana), with the last coming in 2009. Only UCLA (11) and Kentucky (7) have more national championships.
Vermont's tournament resume isn't quite as distinguished, as the Catamounts are just 2-4 all-time in the event. John Becker's first season with the team has been a huge success, with Vermont coming into the tournament with 23 wins after winning the AEC Tournament title. The Catamounts made it 24 wins with a 71-59 victory over Lamar in the first-round on Wednesday in Dayton.
This is the fourth meeting all-time between these two teams. North Carolina has won all three prior matchups. The winner of this game will move into the third round to take on either Alabama or Creighton.
The Catamounts shot a solid 50 percent from the floor, despite hitting just 4- of-11 from behind the arc, in posting a 12-point win over Lamar on Wednesday at UD Arena. Four McGlynn led three players in double figures with 18 points. Matt Glass and Sandro Carissimo added 11 and 10 points, respectively. Brian Voelkel didn't do much in terms of scoring (three points), but he did grab a team-high 12 rebounds, while doling out seven assists. The Catamounts post modest offensive numbers on the season, averaging 67.3 ppg, on .445 shooting. McGlynn leads the way in the scoring column at 12.2 ppg. Glass is a close second at 11.9 ppg, followed by Luke Apfeld and his 10.1 ppg.
The Tar Heels could be without a key cog to start tournament play, as First- Team All-ACC forward John Henson (13.8 ppg, 10.1 rpg) injured his wrist in the ACC Tournament and is listed as questionable for this game. The good news is that the frontcourt is still in good hands with fellow First-Team members Tyler Zeller and Harrison Barnes. Zeller is averaging a near double-double with 16.5 points and 9.3 rebounds per game and his dominance, especially down the stretch for UNC, earned him ACC Player of the Year. Barnes is a dynamic future NBA talent with the ability to score from anywhere on the floor. The 6-8 sophomore leads UNC in scoring at 17.4 ppg. Fellow sophomore Kendall Marshall is charged with making this offense tick and he does so flawlessly at times, averaging 9.7 assists per game (second nationally).
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