East Region - Second Round
(23-9, 13-5 ACC)
North Carolina Tar Heels
What You Need To Know: The Tar Heels have been coming on of late, heading into the NCAA Tournament on a bit of a roll. The offense is blessed with an electric scorer in Marcus Paige, a rising star who could be a key factor over the next few weeks. He can fill it up at any time, but he's a true finisher in the second half and is demanding of the ball when the game is on the line. Fearless, his ability to keep opponents on their heels gives UNC an advantage. Forward James Michael McAdoo is a multi-talented big man who can dominate in the paint, but he could stand to be more consistent. The Tar Heels are at their best when he is aggressive. Leslie McDonald provides some balance, and guard J.P. Tokoto is UNC's second-best passer behind Paige. Brice Johnson is key, as well, but he can run into foul trouble at times and is inconsistent. Free-throw shooting has been an issue for this team, which could be critical in a tight game.
Strengths: Assists, Rebounding, Scoring
Weaknesses: Three Point Shooting, Free Throw Shooting, Scoring Defense
(23-11, 10-8 Big East)
What You Need To Know: The Friars had to rally to earn an invite to the Big Dance, and their inconsistency has been a huge problem all season. Providence can struggle to knock down shots at times, but the offense likes to get out in transition and is at its best when creating turnovers that lead to easy baskets. Bryce Cotton is the catalyst, and his ability to light up the scoreboard and seemingly endless supply of energy sets the tone for Providence. Cotton also is a fantastic passer, and he is great at finding LaDontae Henton and Kadeem Batts in the drive-and-kick game. That duo also hits the boards hard and can trigger the fast break with pinpoint outlet passes.
Strengths: Free Throws, Blocked Shots, Rebounding
Weaknesses: Shooting, Steals, Turnovers