Iona certainly got UNC's attention in the first half Friday Night. However, Roy Williams just doesn't lose in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
UNC's win Friday night bumped up Roy's record in the first round to a perfect 29-0. The second round, on the other hand, hasn't been as rosy. Just last year, Texas A&M upset the Tar Heels in Charlotte.
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As we dig for story lines ahead of the second round game, UNC's lack of success in round two of the NCAA Tournament is something to explore.
Carolina is just 3-3 in the second round in the previous six seasons and 9-5 under Roy. That seems ridiculous given the Heels have been to two of the past three Final Fours. Williams agrees, it's ridiculous.
"Texas A&M last year was really a bad matchup for us," Williams says. "Year before that we were okay. We were 6-0. There wasn't anybody else 6-0. So, I'll take 3-3 all the time if you'll make two of those three years going to play for the national championship game."
There will be a degree of familiarity between the Huskies and the Tar Heels on Sunday. UW's coach Mike Hopkins spent 22 seasons at Syracuse under Jim Boeheim. Washington uses a similar zone and knows how UNC will try to attack.
Criticism of the Pacific -12 has been loud as well this year, and UW's players hear it and it's fueling the fire. Just ask Freshman Noah Dickerson.
"Our conference got a hit this year. People are talking bad about us. It is what it is," Dickerson said. "I do think we are playing for our conference, just to show some more respect for us."
The two teams have a few common opponents including Gonzaga. Washington lost to the Bulldogs 81-79 in early December while the Heels beat the Zags 103-90 at home.
UNC prepares for 2nd round NCAA matchup with Washington
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