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Can Peacock Power prevail against North Carolina?

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A preview of what’s taking place within the NCAA Event immediately:

GAME OF THE DAY

SAINT-PIERRE VS. NORTH CAROLINA

Saint Peter’s shock win over mighty Kentucky was thought of an accident, a fortunate one for followers who like to see the little man rise to take down a monster within the NCAA Event.

It then ensued that the Fifteenth-seeded Peacocks’ win over Murray State was a coincidence, once more, a tasty one for anybody who loves an underdog story.

Now, the ever-growing legion of Peacocks followers — individuals who had by no means heard of Daryl Banks III, Clarence Rupert or Doug Edert two weeks in the past — persist with the idea that the Candy 16 thwarted by the mighty Purdue has set a sample, one that might take the small college in Jersey Metropolis, New Jersey, all the way in which to the Ultimate 4.

All that stands between the Peacocks and Bourbon Avenue subsequent week is No. 8 seed North Carolina, one of many bluebloods’ bluebloods, within the Jap Area Finals in Philadelphia. , a 93-mile drive from their campus.

First-year coach Hubert Davis and the Tar Heels have been a reasonably good story themselves, taking part in their approach out of the event bubble late within the common season and knocking out Marquette, Baylor and UCLA.

By no means thoughts that Carolina’s variety of nationwide championships, six, is one lower than the whole variety of NCAA Event video games the Peacocks have performed of their 58-year basketball historical past.

Coach Shaheen Holloway’s Peacocks are 8.5-point underdogs, in accordance with FanDuel Sportsbook. All of Carolina’s benefits on paper actually don’t imply a lot at this level. In spite of everything, Saint Peter’s wasn’t supposed to have the ability to deal with Purdue’s superior dimension, power and expertise, but it surely did.

Brady Manek, Caleb Love and Armando Bacot — to not point out the title on the entrance of their jerseys and all of the Carolina heritage — may be intimidating. It’s protected to imagine the Peacocks gained’t be sidetracked one bit.

SELF-ANALYSIS: A DIFFICULT ROAD AHEAD

Kansas, the final remaining No. 1 seed, made it to the Elite Eight. That ought to make Jayhawks followers very nervous heading into the Midwest Area Finals in opposition to Tenth-seeded Miami in Chicago.

It was the match that obsessed coach Invoice Self greater than some other. He’s 3-7 in regional finals in his profession, together with 3-5 at Kansas.

“It’s a distinct recreation as a result of it’s the hardest recreation within the event to not win,” Self mentioned on Saturday. “You’ll be able to speak in regards to the first spherical, you possibly can speak about something, it’s essentially the most tough match. The nationwide championship ultimate, at the very least you play for something or every part.

“However this one, each objective from each staff is the street to the Ultimate 4. This isn’t the street to the nationwide championship. That is the street to the Ultimate 4. And even when the nationwide championship is by far the largest carrot and the largest prize.

The Jayhawks gained their final regional ultimate, 85-81 over Duke in additional time in 2018.

Self’s worst regional ultimate loss got here in related circumstances to this yr. It was 2011, the Jayhawks have been the final No. 1 seed within the event they usually have been taking part in a double-digit seed, No. 11 VCU. The Jayhawks fell behind early and by no means caught up whereas happening 71-61.

HOPE FOR THE BEST

Villanova may learn how injured guard Justin Moore was within the ultimate minute of the Wildcats’ 50-44 win over Houston.

Moore injured his decrease leg and was on crutches on Saturday after ‘Nova earned a spot within the Ultimate 4. He’s dribbling in opposition to a defender, and appears like he slipped and fell, then got here again down after making an attempt to stand up.

Preliminary X-rays confirmed nothing was damaged, however coach Jay Wright mentioned an MRI was scheduled and it didn’t look good for Moore.

Moore averaged 15 factors and 5 rebounds per recreation this season.

Villanova will face the Kansas-Miami winner subsequent weekend within the nationwide semifinal.

NOW HEAR THIS

North Carolina coach Hubert Davis mentioned he pays no consideration to seeds, so Saint Peter’s being a 15 doesn’t make sense to him.

Most significantly, he mentioned, the Peacocks beat two of the groups North Carolina misplaced to in the course of the common season. The Tar Heels misplaced 93-84 to Purdue in Uncasville, Connecticut on November 20 and 98-69 to Kentucky in Las Vegas on December 18.

Davis mentioned Saint Peter’s could be Carolina’s hardest recreation of the season.

“They’ve an distinctive teaching employees, they usually’re a staff that’s gained 10 video games in a row they usually’re taking part in with a confidence and tenacity that put them within the final eight,” Davis mentioned.

The winner will face Duke subsequent Saturday within the nationwide semi-final. Coach Mike Krzyzewski and the Blue Devils beat Arkansas 78-69 to win the West.

GEORGE MASON CONNECTION

Miami’s Jordan Miller performed his first three seasons at George Mason.

It’s the identical college that present Miami coach Jim Larranaga led to the Ultimate 4 in 2006, when Miller was 6 years previous.

“Yeah, being at George Mason, it’s onerous to not hear about his success there,” Miller mentioned.

Miller had fun at a press convention when he added, “Coach L, once I first spoke to him, he truly mentioned, ‘Have you learnt about my success at George Mason? “”

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Extra March Insanity AP protection: https://apnews.com/hub/march-madness and https://apnews.com/hub/college-basketball and https://twitter.com/AP_Top25

Not all information on the positioning expresses the viewpoint of the positioning, however we transmit this information routinely and translate it via programmatic know-how on the positioning and never from a human editor.



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