Streaking Heels Route Hoosiers
Before this game, some had doubt if North Carolina could guard Indiana on the three-point line. The Heels did more than just guard the outside. Senior Marcus Paige started the game off with four three-pointers within the first six minutes of the game. Three of which came before the first media timeout. He ended the game with 21 points and shot an impressive 6-for-9 from the three-point range.
Senior Brice Johnson ended the game with another double-double, finishing the night with 20 points and 10 rebounds. The Heels big men played an impactful role in the 101-86 victory over Indiana (27-8) and led North Carolina (31-6) to advance to the Elite Eight. Paige had something to say after the game, “As a shooter, when you get the first one to go down, it’s always kind of a good thing for your confidence. And then I was able to get free a couple of times right after that and get pretty good looks at the rim, which are hard to come by sometimes as a 6-foot guard. So that really helped me get going. And I think other guys fed off that. And we shot the ball better than we have been shooting the ball, so that always helps against a team that can really score.”
The Hoosiers, Yogi Ferrell led Indiana with an impressive 25 points. Yogi’s mother and sister will have to make shirts for Marcus Paige now. Head Coach of Indiana, Tom Crean gave his Senior guard a long hug after subbing him out for the final time.
Roy Williams calls Paige and Johnson, “The Odd Couple”. According to Roy, this years team is the favorite team he’s ever coached. Paige’s Senior speech left Williams in tears after their final home game against Syracuse during the regular season. Any North Carolina fan can tell you how much this team means to Roy.
The Tar Heels play Notre Dame (24-11) on Sunday, March 27th for a chance to advance to the Final Four. The two teams split games during the season but the most recent was a blowout win by the Heels. With only two games left until the National Championship, Marcus Paige’s quote still stands, “We’re not done”.