After reaching its 19th Final Four, the North Carolina Tar Heels program looks to capture their sixth title in its legendary history. Head coach Roy Williams and star player Brice Johnson are the favorites to win it all in Houston, but here is why they’ll get it done.
1. Roy Williams
No coach left in the tournament has more accomplishments than Roy Williams. Williams has won two national titles and has been to eight Final Fours. Overall, Williams has won 79 percent of his games as a head coach. It is no coincidence that UNC has won the ACC nearly half of the time Williams has been on campus. As is true with all Final Four participants, the head coaches are the primary reason for getting to this point.
The Tar Heels are 10th in the nation in scoring, raking in 83 points per game. Although UNC is dismal in three-point percentage, they rank first in field goals made and field goals attempted inside the arc. Simply put, they get those shots up. The Heels have four players (Brice Johnson, Joel Berry, Marcus Paige and Justin Jackson) that average at least 12 points per game.
3. The Draw
North Carolina will go up against the no. 10 Syracuse Orange on Saturday night. Not only were the Orange a surprise team in the field of 68, they were also the only team remaining (Villanova and Oklahoma were the others) that were not ranked number one at some point this season. North Carolina beat Syracuse early in conference play, and is familiar with the vaunted 2-3 defense they will see on Saturday. Simply put, North Carolina has a mismatch.
The biggest factor in UNC’s title hopes is their overwhelming talent. UNC has never had a problem recruiting the best players in the country, and although these players were not the one-and-done, NBA-bound stars they were meant to be, the players that make up this squad have gained much experience and have gotten better every year they have been in college. Marcus Paige has had one heck of a college journey, and probably should have tested NBA waters after his sophomore season, but he has grown into a veteran field general. He isn’t alone. This squad is flooded with big names such as Kennedy Meeks, Isaiah Hicks, and Nate Britt, but the biggest name is Brice Johnson.
The senior forward is averaging 17 points and 10 rebounds per game. Johnson dominates on the boards and is the key reason the Heels lead the country in rebounding. It will be tough to stop this North Carolina team considering they can dominate in multiple phases.
What do you think? Did I miss anything? Let us know below.