UNC advances to NCAA Championship game with win over Syracuse
HOUSTON - North Carolina's basketball team beat Syracuse 83-66 to advance to Monday night's championship game against Villanova. Brice Johnson and Houston native Justin Jackson both finished with 16 points, while Marcus Paige got hot in the second half and finished with 13 points. Paige made three 3-pointers in the second half. The Tar Heels (33-6) were 0 for 11 from 3-point range midway through the second half, and Syracuse trimmed a 17-point deficit to seven before Paige found his range. Syracuse (23-14), the first No. 10 seed to make the Final Four, got 22 points from Trevor Cooney. North Carolina will play in the NCAA Tournament championship game for the 10th time in school history, and will try to win it's sixth NCAA Tournament title.
North Carolina leads the all time series with Villanova 11-4. The Tar Heels beat the Wildcats on their way to the 2009 national title.
Villanova beat Oklahoma 95-51. Josh Hart scored 23 points on 10-of-12 shooting. This was the biggest Final Four semifinal win ever, eclipsing the 34-point wins by Cincinnati over Oregon State in 1962 and Michigan State over Penn in 1979. Villanova dominated the Sooners (29-8) after an opening 7 minutes that had the teams trading the lead on almost every possession. The Wildcats broke it open with a 21-4 run. The stats about NRG Stadium being a horrible place to shoot went out the window along with the Sooners' chances at playing for their first national championship. The Wildcats, with Hart going 7 for 8, shot 66.7 percent in the first half, including 6 of 11 from 3-point range in taking a 42-28 halftime lead.