It wasn't easy for Providence or North Carolina on Thursday, but both the Friars and the Tar Heels got it done.
For 20 minutes, it looked like North Carolina could become the first No. 1 seed to ever lose to a No. 16 seed. The Tar Heels went into halftime against Florida Gulf Coast leading by just one point, thanks to a lackluster defensive effort and a number of cold shooting streaks. However, they dominated the second half to blow out FGCU, just like everyone initially expected.
Providence led a late comeback against USC, and the Friars hit one of the biggest shots of day one of the NCAA Tournament, with a perfect inbounds play.
The Friars have disappointed this year, but they have three star players — Kris Dunn, Ben Bentil and Rodney Bullock — who can give North Carolina a run for its money.
The Tar Heels have an All-American caliber player in forward Brice Johnson, and they are likely to dominate Providence inside. However, UNC hasn't shot well from beyond the arc, and point guard Marcus Paige has been up-and-down all year. The Tar Heels are the clear favorite, particularly since they're playing in Raleigh, but they can't come out as sluggish as they did against FGCU.
How to watch
Game time: approx. 9:40 p.m. ET
Online: March Madness Live
Radio: Westwood One Sports
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Watch No. 11 Northern Iowa stun No. 6 Texas with this amazing buzzer beater from half court
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